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Publication Detail
Beyond growth machine politics: Understanding state politics and national political mandates in China’s urban redevelopment
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Wu F, Zhang F, Liu Y
  • Publisher:
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Antipode: a radical journal of geography
  • Print ISSN:
  • Keywords:
    urban redevelopment, state politics, urban governance, state entrepreneurialism, China
Large-scale demolition has been ubiquitous in fast urbanising China. The politics of redevelopment is often seen as secondary, derived from and defined by local entrepreneurial governance. However, changing state politics, in particular national political mandates, has not been adequately addressed. Through examining variegated practices, this paper understands how the changing national political context affects or redefines local redevelopment projects. These cases reflect local responses to the national campaigns for rural vitalisation and ‘Beautiful China’, heritage preservation and ‘incremental regeneration’ (weigaizao), and community participation in dilapidated neighbourhoods for a ‘harmonious society’. We find that these redevelopment projects are inherited from and associated with, but at the same time go beyond, growth machine politics. We argue that their motivations reflect a governance mode of ‘state entrepreneurialism’ to achieve extra-economic objectives through market instruments, and that this illustrates geopolitics, especially the role of the national state in development politics.
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