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Title: The local politics of culture-led redevelopment in China
Author: Sun, Yixiang
ISNI:       0000 0004 7965 0232
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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The politics of China's urban planning has gone through significant changes after the 1978 reform. Following the transition towards a market-oriented economy, the post-reform era has witnessed the implementation of a central-government-led devolution of powers and resources to the local level and a reorientation of the relationships between state institutions and China's economy and society. In general, there is an ever-broadening public sphere and ever deepening collaboration between the public and private sectors. Conceptions of governance, particularly those that see reforms as a manifestation of state entrepreneurialism, have become a key area of interest for academic discussions on China's contemporary urban planning. The focus of analysis has been switched to institutional reconfigurations, public-private relationship and processes and practice of local community engagement. Meanwhile, culture has been commodified to reshape urban spaces and boost growth. These new governance practices have posed substantial challenges to the nation's state-dominated power dynamics. Theories of political construction in delivering urban redevelopment projects are commonly built on a Western-centric perspective and generated from the post-War experience of countries in the Global North, while their adaptability and variation in the East Asian context such as China are insufficiently documented. It still remains unclear about how local power mechanisms have been transformed and how entrepreneurial strategies are contextualised in cities with long traditions of state dominance. It is in this context that the author conducted an investigation on the planning and implementation of a flagship culture-led redevelopment project in Xi'an, China. Drawing upon theories of institutionalism and policy-network analysis, the thesis analyses contemporary modes of reform and the re-shaping and emerging interactions between authorities, enterprises, and local communities. This research offers insights into how entrepreneurial elements have been integrated into planning initiatives in Chinese cities. It is argued that new network-oriented power dynamics have come into being under local government's state entrepreneurial practices, with which the state consolidates its control over local culture-led redevelopment. It calls for greater attention to address local political construction and the production of cultural spaces in more diversified contexts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available