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Title: In the name of social inclusion : the redevelopment of urban villages and its implications on citizenship in China
Author: Zhang, X.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Urban villages in China refer to the former rural villages that are deprived of arable lands and absorbed by the expanding urban area. In recent years they grew in size and were considered by governments to stand in the way of the Chinese urban development. Since the early 2000s, the authorities have embarked on a programme of large-scaled redevelopment in the name of promoting social inclusion. This research interrogates the policies on urban village redevelopment in Xi'an from a perspective of social exclusion and inclusion. It focuses on two points: how do policy makers and urban villagers understand social inclusion differently, and what makes a difference in increasing social inclusion. Following the citizenship-based approach in the studies of social exclusion and inclusion, firstly an examination of citizenship conceptions, as reflected in the Chinese traditional discourses through the redevelopment of urban villages, provides the basis for questioning the political rhetoric of social inclusion in China. Secondly, a comparison between policy makers' and villagers' interpretations on urban citizenship helps explore the different understandings of inclusion between them. Finally, by studying six redeveloped urban villages in the city of Xi'an, this thesis identifies what villagers strive for, and discusses how their strivings make a difference in achieving social inclusion during urban village redevelopment. The research mainly develops three arguments. First, the redevelopment policy of urban villages in Xi'an implies a trade-off between social benefits and property, which deprives villagers of their property rights and defines their struggles in a new urban context. Second, due to the trade-off policy, villagers do not consider the redevelopment strategies that carried out by government as a process of inclusion. What villagers struggle for, as being urban citizens, is a decent livelihood in renewed centrality, the right to property, and the active participation in urban village redevelopment. Third, through villagers' active participation, social inclusion is possible to be achieved based on the cooperation among different stakeholders during redevelopment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available