Author Archives: Monique Abud

About Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

Dams and development in China: the moral economy of water and power

Tilt, Bryan (2014). Dams and development in China : the moral economy of water and power. New York : Columbia university press. 280 p. (Contemporary Asia in the World). ISBN: 978-0-2311-7010-9.

China is home to half of the world’s large dams and adds dozens more each year. The benefits are considerable: dams deliver hydropower, provide reliable irrigation water, protect people and farmland against flooding, and produce hydroelectricity in a nation with a seeimingly insatiable appetite for energy. As hydropower responds to a larger share of energy demand, dams may also help to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, welcome news in a country where air and water pollution have become dire and greenhouse gas emissions are the highest in the world.

Yet the advantages of dams come at a high cost for river ecosystems and for the social and economic well-being of local people, who face displacement and farmland loss. This book examines the array of water-management decisions faced by Chinese leaders and their consequences for local communities. Focusing on the southwestern province of Yunnan–a major hub for hydropower development in China–which encompasses one of the world’s most biodiverse temperate ecosystems and one of China’s most ethnically and culturally rich regions, Bryan Tilt takes the reader from the halls of decision-making power in Beijing to Yunnan’s rural villages. In the process, he examines the contrasting values of government agencies, hydropower corporations, NGOs, and local communities and explores how these values are linked to longstanding cultural norms about what is right, proper, and just. He also considers the various strategies these groups use to influence water-resource policy, including advocacy, petitioning, and public protest. Drawing on a decade of research, he offers his insights on whether the world’s most populous nation will adopt greater transparency, increased scientific collaboration, and broader public participation as it continues to grow economically.

More information (contents, reviews)

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

‘My generation had it all easy’

Zavoretti, Roberta. (2014) ‘My generation had it all easy’: accounts of anxiety and social order in post-Mao Nanjing. Cambridge Anthropology, 32(2), pp. 49-64. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/ca.2014.320206

In urban China, young people are under increasing pressure to embody the ideal of a financially secure ‘match’. At the same time, their parents define marriage as ‘a family matter’ and provide a large part of the starting fund for their children’s new family. This situation often leads to inter-generational tensions, which can be fully appreciated only by looking back at the life experiences of the parents. Many members of this older generation were displaced to the countryside to ‘learn from the peasant masses’. In their accounts of those times, marriage was a troubling issue as most of them did not want to marry villagers for fear of getting stuck in the countryside. The anxieties of the old and new generations seem to be underpinned by policies promoted by state and market respectively; however, informants point to the state as the main source of responsibility for both change and continuity.

Read full text article (restricted access)

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

Which type of urbanization better matches China’s factor endowment

Wen, Guanzhong James and Jinwu Xiong. (2013) Which type of urbanization better matches China’s factor endowment : a comparison of population-intensive Old Puxi and Land-Capital-Intensive New Pudong. Frontiers of Economics in China, 8(4), pp. 516-534. URL: http://journal.hep.com.cn/fec/EN/10.3868/s060-002-013-0026-2 (Retrieved 10 December 2014)

Based on a comparative study of New-Pudong (East Shanghai) and Old-Puxi (West Shanghai) in their respective ability to absorb rural migrants, the very essence of urbanization, this paper finds that, constrained by the current hukou (household registration) system and land tenure system, although New-Pudong has emerged as one of the most modernized urban areas in the world, it did so under an urbanization model that is government-dominant and characterized by high land-intensity and capital-intensity. This model represents a serious mismatch in terms of China’s factor endowment that is characterized with a large but relatively poor rural population. In sharp contrast, guided by the market mechanism under private land ownership and free migration, Old-Puxi emerged as an urbanization model that was very adaptable to China’s factor endowment and stage of development. Therefore, as a model of endogenous urbanization, Old-Puxi is more efficient and inclusive, at the same time more sustainable economically and environmentally, and for this reason more applicable to China at a time when China needs to urbanize most of its rural population urgently to avoid the further worsening of the rural/urban divide and income disparity.

Read full text (open access)

 

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

Property rights, land values and urban development

Li, Tian (2014). Property rights, land values and urban development : betterment and compensation in China. Edward Elgar, 232 p. ISBN : 978-1-78347-639-8 (hardcover) / 978-1-78347-640-4 (ebook)

This book presents an analysis of betterment and compensation issues under the Land Use Rights (LURs) System in China since 1988. The topic originates from the observation of widening inequity and increasing uncertainty associated with the failure of government to adequately address betterment and compensation issues. An analytical framework of institutions and property rights is employed to examine socio-economic impacts under the LURs system, in particular, the role of the state is analyzed to explore the effects of government intervention in land markets.

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Nature of land rent and land value capture
  3. Studying betterment and compensation from a perspective of property rights
  4. Assessing and addressing betterment and compensation: international experiences
  5. Urban land reform and evolution of land market in China
  6. Betterment and compensation schemes under the lurs system
  7. Assessing and addressing betterment and compensation in guangzhou: empirical evidence
  8. Institutional evolution in the land market of Guangzhou
  9. Conclusions
  10. Bibliography
  11. Index

More information

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

A tale of two eco-cities: experimentation under hierarchy in Shanghai and Tianjin

Miao, Bo and Graeme Lang. (2014) A tale of two eco-cities: experimentation under hierarchy in Shanghai and Tianjin. Urban Policy and Research. Prepublished December, 3, 2014. DOI: 10.1080/08111146.2014.967390

Two ambitious ‘new city’ projects were launched in China during the past 15 years—the ‘Dongtan eco-city’ project in Shanghai and the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City project in Tianjin. Both have received much international publicity and attention. However, the Dongtan project has stalled, and will evidently not be revived, while the Tianjin project continues, albeit with more moderate goals. We analyse the two cases, using the concept of ‘experimentation under hierarchy’ to show why one project is proceeding, while the other has failed. The key factors were strong international inputs of expertise and funds in the Tianjin project, along with crucial support from the central government, both of which were lacking in the Dongtan project.

近15 年来,中国搞了两个宏大的“新城”计划,一个是上海东滩生态城,一个是中国与新加坡合资的天津生态城。这两项工程都在国际上造出了许多舆论,也得到许多关 注。然而,东滩项目半途而废,显然不会再度启动,目标比较温和的天津项目倒是一直在进行。本文用“科层制度下的实验”这一概念,分析这两个案例,说明为何 一个项目得以延续,另一个却以失败告终。我们认为关键因素是天津项目有强大的国际专家团队和国际资金投入,而且,关键是得到了中央政府的支持,而这些因素 东滩项目都没有。

Read full text article (restricted access)

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

Eco-cities and the transition to low carbon economies

Caprotti, Federico (2014). Eco-cities and the transition to low carbon economies. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan. 136 p. ISBN : 9781137298751 (Hardcover) / 9781137298751 (Ebook EPUB) / 9781137298751 (Ebook PDF).

9781137298751.inddEco-cities are increasingly being marketed as solutions to a range of pressing global concerns, such as environmental and climate change, hyper-urbanization, demographic shifts, energy security, and the Peak Oil scenario. In response to these issues, eco-cities are being conceptualized as ‘experimental cities’, new urban areas in which new technologies and ways of organizing urban and economic life can be trialled, and where transition pathways towards low-carbon economies can be tested. The author examines the two most advanced eco-city projects under construction at the time of writing – the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City in China, and Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. These are the largest and most notable attempts at building new eco-cities to both face up to the ‘crises’ of the modern world and to use the city as an engine for transition to a low-carbon economy.

More information

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

Contracting with private providers for primary care services: evidence from urban China

Yan Wang, Karen Eggleston, Zhenjie Yu and Qiong Zhang.  (2013) Contracting with private providers for primary care services : evidence from urban China. Health Economics Review, 3:1. 20 p. doi:10.1186/2191-1991-3-1

Controversy surrounds the role of the private sector in health service delivery, including primary care and population health services. China’s recent health reforms call for non-discrimination against private providers and emphasize strengthening primary care, but formal contracting-out initiatives remain few, and the associated empirical evidence is very limited. This paper presents a case study of contracting with private providers for urban primary and preventive health services in Shandong Province, China. The case study draws on three primary sources of data: administrative records; a household survey of over 1600 community residents in Weifang and City Y; and a provider survey of over 1000 staff at community health stations (CHS) in both Weifang and City Y. We supplement the quantitative data with one-on-one, in-depth interviews with key informants, including local officials in charge of public health and government finance.

We find significant differences in patient mix: Residents in the communities served by private community health stations are of lower socioeconomic status (more likely to be uninsured and to report poor health), compared to residents in communities served by a government-owned CHS. Analysis of a household survey of 1013 residents shows that they are more willing to do a routine health exam at their neighborhood CHS if they are of low socioeconomic status (as measured either by education or income). Government and private community health stations in Weifang did not statistically differ in their performance on contracted dimensions, after controlling for size and other CHS characteristics. In contrast, the comparison City Y had lower performance and a large gap between public and private providers. We discuss why these patterns arose and what policymakers and residents considered to be the main issues and concerns regarding primary care services.

Read full text at Springer Open (open access)

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

Urban, Planning and Transport Research: An Open Access Journal

Urban, Planning and Transport Research. Vol. 1, n° 1, 2013-…ISSN : 2165-0020. URL : http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rupt20/current#.VFuXK2fehyF

Urban, Planning & Transport Research is a fully Open Access journal offering rapid publication and wide dissemination of new research to a global audience. It publishes peer-reviewed contributions in all areas of urban, planning and transport research.

 

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

Unreal Estate and China’s Collective Unconscious

Lam, Tong (2014). Unreal estate and China’s collective unconscious : photo essay. Cross-Currents : East Asian History and Culture Review. E-Journal, 10 (March 2014). URL: http://cross-currents.berkeley.edu/e-journal/issue-10

More than two decades ago, at the height of postmodernism, French historian Pierre Nora lamented that there no longer existed any milieux de memoire, or environments that embodied real everyday experience. What was left, according to him, were merely lieux de memoire, or sites of memory. As such, historical monuments and other memory sites do not seem to carry any fixed historical meaning anymore. Rather, they have emerged as focal points of memory contestation and identity politics, becoming “pure signs” with “no referents in [historical] reality” (Nora 1996, 19).

Indeed, even in China, where the kind of politics of representation common to liberal democracies is seldom applicable, there has been a proliferation of counter-memories—from private museums to Cultural Revolution theme restaurants—that do not always conform to the grand narrative sanctioned by the government. The country’s rapid economic growth over the past three decades has essentially produced an accelerated history, or what Nora and others refer to as the collapse of the present into the past, of memory into history. Not surprisingly, a spontaneous movement is emerging to collect, preserve, and archive all sorts of tangible and intangible artifacts and practices, such as old photographs, recipes, oral histories, and folkways, in contemporary China’s new economy of nostalgia.

What has often been left out of this postsocialist archive fever, however, are the numerous sites that are slipping not into, but out of, history. China’s reckless urbanization and real estate speculation have produced countless architectural wreckages—buildings, neighborhoods, and even cities—that are incomplete, destroyed, abandoned, or otherwise unused. Out of sight and out of mind, these sites do not register in public memory. Some of them may look monumental, but they are not monumentalized. In short, these are sites not of dissonant memories, but of collective unconscious.

For the photographic series featured in this issue of Cross-Currents—“Unreal Estate and China’s Collective Unconscious”—I have selected a diverse range of ruinous spaces to tell an alternative history of contemporary China’s hysterical transformation. Whereas historical monuments in China are frequently used by the state to symbolize civilizational pride and national humiliation, in order to mobilize the masses to observe their patriotic duty, the ruinous sites I seek to foreground in my photographs are non-places that represent the specter of history.

Read full essay at Cross-Currents E-Journal

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

When fiscal recentralisation meets urban reforms

Fu, Qiang. (2014) When fiscal recentralisation meets urban reforms : prefectural landfinance and its association with access to housing in urban China. Urban Studies. Prepublished October, 8, 2014. DOI: 10.1177/0042098014552760

By retrieving household-level information from 127,938 household heads and fiscal data from 177 prefectures located in eastern and central China, this research quantifies the net association between land finance and urban housing tenure. While the results demonstrate that in 2005 China’s urban housing market remained stratified and simultaneously favoured individuals possessing economic, political and human capital, the key finding is that, net of other household- and prefecture-level effects, land finance is significantly and negatively associated with local homeownership. Moreover, both the demand and supply sides of the urban housing market contribute to such net association. By demonstrating the internal links between urban housing and local finance, this research not only provides a more holistic view of housing stratification during institutionalchanges but also lends empirical support to conceptual frameworks that explain a territory-based coalition between local governments and selective enterprises.

Read full text on Sage Journals Online (restricted access)

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

The costs of urban growth at the fringe of a Chinese city

Verdini, Giulio1 (2014). The costs of urban growth at the fringe of a Chinese city : evidence from Jinshi Village in Suzhou. International Development Planning Review, 36:4, p. 413-43. Published online October 08, 2014. DOI : 10.3828/idpr.2014.27.

The rate of city growth in China today correlates well with an overall loss of the most fertile agricultural areas of the country. A consequence of this growth includes the rapid reshaping of peri-urban livelihoods in their densely populated fringe. The policy response from central government has focused on containing city growth and pursuing modern rural development. Both policy directions have failed, in part, to acknowledge the intrinsic nature of the urban fringe in China. This paper explores the features of the fringe of Suzhou, a fast growing city in the Yangtze River Delta. The aim is to outline potential social costs of this current policy framework, through analysing the case study of Jinshi Village. The paper advocates a different regionalist approach to policy implementation.

Read full text at Liverpool metapress.com (secured access)

In 2013, Giulio Verdini has been a visiting scholar at the CECMC (EHESS), the institution that hosts the editorial team of the UrbaChina blog. The activities of Giulio Verdini at the CECMC are presented in Carnets du Centre Chine :

 1. Urban Planning and Design, Xi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool University, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.
See more at: http://academic.xjtlu.edu.cn/upd/Staff/giulio-verdini

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

Theorising Chinese urbanisation: A multi-layered perspective

Gu, Chaolin, Christian Kesteloot and Ian G. Cook (2014). Theorising Chinese urbanisation: A multi-layered perspective. Urban Studies. Published online before print, 22 September 2014.  doi:10.1177/0042098014550457.

Urbanisation in China and its rapid increase in recent decades as a result of industrialisation and globalisation are often conceived as a simplified process. Moreover, the speed of the present day process yields the impression that the traces of previous forms of urbanisation are erased for good. Both of these assumptions are challenged in this paper. The built environment resulting from this urbanisation process is to be conceived as a series of layers that reflect different modes of productions and related logics of production of space. Hence, we try to comprehend the spatial arrangement of the city, which can be thought of as a geological metaphor. The social groups that have to be sheltered in urban residential space also radically change in each of these periods. We proceed to analyse these layers and how they combine and interact over time with the concept of socio-spatial configuration, which denotes a precise type of residential environment related to a specific social group in the city. Chinese cities are made up of five types of urbanisation, reflected in five layers and their related socio-spatial configurations: the traditional, proto-globalisation, socialist, market-led and globalisation layers.

Read full text on Sage Journals (restricted access)

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

Space modernization and social interaction

Yang, Qingqing (2015). Space modernization and social interaction : a comparative study of living space in Beijing. Berlin ; Heidelberg : Springer. XVII-152 p. ISBN : SBN 978-3-662-44348-4.

This book concerns the Beijing Hutong and changing perceptions of space, of social relations and of self, as processes of urban redevelopment remove Hutong dwellers from their traditional homes to new high-rise apartments. It addresses questions of how space is humanly built and transformed, classified and differentiated, and most importantly how space is perceived and experienced. This study elaborates and expands Lefebvre’s “trialectic” of space on a theoretical level. The ethnography presented is a conversation with Tim Ingold’s argument about “empty space”. This research employs the ethnographic technique of participant-observation to secure a finely textured, detailed and micro-social account of local experience. Then, these micro-social insights are contextualized within macro-social structures of Chinese modernism by speaking to geographical concerns, orientalism and history.

More information on Springer

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

Contesting speculative urbanisation and strategising discontents

Shin, Hyun Bang (2014). Contesting speculative urbanisation and strategising discontents. City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 18:4-5, p. 509-516. DOI:10.1080/13604813.2014.939471. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2014.939471 [26 September 2014].

This paper explains what the production of speculative urbanisation in mainland China means for strategising emergent discontents therein. It is argued that China’s urbanisation is a political and ideological project by the Party State, producing urban-oriented accumulation through the commingling of the labour-intensive industrial production with heavy investment in the built environment. Therefore, for any progressive movements to be formed, it becomes imperative to imagine and establish cross-class alliances to claim the right to the city (or the right to the urban, given the limitations of the city as an analytical unit). Because of the nature of urbanisation, the alliances would need to involve not only industrial workers and urban inhabitants but also village farmers whose lands are expropriated to accommodate investments to produce the urban as well as ethnic minorities in autonomous regions whose cities are appropriated and restructured to produce Han-dominated cities. Education emerges as an important strategy for the discontented who need to understand how the fate of urban inhabitants is knitted tightly with the fate of workers, villagers and others who are subject to the exploitation of the urban-oriented accumulation.

Read full text (free access)

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

A study on urban regeneration of Shanghai

Han, Ling and Jin-Young Kim (2014). A study on urban regeneration of Shanghai. Advanced Science and Technology Letters, 52 (SUComS 2014), pp.179-183. Retrieved 2 September 2014 from: http://dx.doi.org/10.14257/astl.2014.52.30

The historical buildings in the city imply the history of development as well as symbolize the identity of the city. The historical landscape of the city in the modern times premised in the preservation has had conflicts with modern development consistently. However, entering 2000s, Shanghai is actively carrying out the urban regeneration project. Accordingly, this study aims tointroduce the process in which Shanghai has developed and turned its historical sites into a contemporary cultural complex. In addition, the research analyzes the practical cases and suggests effective development of the creative industrial complex, introducing the policies related to urban regeneration of Shanghai.

Read full text online

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts