Category Archives: open access article

Local accounts of high-speed rail reform in China

Speelman, Tabitha. (2015) A bullet train or a paved road? Local accounts of high-speed rail reform in China. The Newsletter, International Institute for Asian Studies, 70 (Spring 2015). URL : http://www.iias.nl/the-newsletter/article/bullet-train-or-paved-road-local-accounts-high-speed-rail-reform-china?utm_source=emailcampaign346&utm_medium=phpList&utm_content=HTMLemail&utm_campaign=%5BIIAS%5D+The+Newsletter+|+No.+70+|+Spring+2015f
The first Chinese high-speed rail (HSR) connection opened in 2007, but by the end of 2013 the country had over 12,000 km of high-speed tracks (the biggest network in the world and about half of all HSR tracks in operation worldwide). Service levels among China’s high-speed trains are high; passengers play games on their phones and consume luxury foodstuff s sold on board, as they near their destination at 300 km/h. The perfectly air-conditioned, mostly quiet HSR environment stands in stark contrast to the bustling carriages of regular Chinese trains, in which passengers chat over card games and share life stories, eating instant noodles and sunflower seeds (not for sale on HSR). Influencing traveling cultures is only one of many ways in which the construction of the world’s most advanced highspeed railroad (HSR) network is changing China, a country in which access to travel is closely tied to socio-economic development. So far, scholarly attention has been limited, but whether it is the economic impact of HSR on remote regions, emerging forms of tourism, or the nostalgia surrounding the disappearing slow trains, the approach of the HSR era in China brings with it many topics worthy of further research.

 

Monique Abud

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

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Eco-urbanism and the eco-city, or, denying the right to the city?

Caprotti, Federico. (2014) Eco-urbanism and the eco-city, or, denying the right to the city? Antipode : A Radical Journal of Geography. Pre-published online, March 3, 2014. DOI: 10.1111/anti.12087

This paper critically analyses the construction of eco-cities as technological fixes to concerns over climate change, Peak Oil, and other scenarios in the transition towards “green capitalism”. It argues for a critical engagement with new-build eco-city projects, first by highlighting the inequalities which mean that eco-cities will not benefit those who will be most impacted by climate change: the citizens of the world’s least wealthy states. Second, the paper investigates the foundation of eco-city projects on notions of crisis and scarcity. Third, there is a need to critically interrogate the mechanisms through which new eco-cities are built, including the land market, reclamation, dispossession and “green grabbing”. Lastly, a sustained focus is needed on the multiplication of workers’ geographies in and around these “emerald cities”, especially the ordinary urban spaces and lives of the temporary settlements housing the millions of workers who move from one new project to another.

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Monique Abud

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

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Fudan launches online platform for researching findings in social sciences

dvnPoweredByLogoBy Yang Meiping | December 30, 2014, Tuesday | Shanghai Daily Online Edition

Fudan University officially launches an online platform to store social sciences data this afternoon and is inviting individuals, organizations and governmental institutions around the world to publish and share research findings on it.

All published data can be found for free at http://dvn.fudan.edu.cn.The platform is developed in cooperation with Harvard University’s Dataverse Network. Registered users can also apply to authors via the platform for information not fully publicized, Fudan said.

The platform has been tested since June with 1,377 data sets stored by Fudan researchers and 57 now completely open to the public.

More researching findings are expected to appear after its official launch, the school said.

http://dvn.fudan.edu.cn/dvn/

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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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.

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Monique Abud

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

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Role of users in the developing eco-innovation

Nathalie Lazaric, Jun Jin, Ali Douai, Cecile Ayerbe (2014). Role of users in the developing
eco-innovation:  comparative case research in China and France. Economies et societes,
developpement, croissance et progrès – Presses de l’ISMEA – Paris, Serie Dynamique
technologique et Organisation (N 3), pp.455-476.
This article proposes a model of eco-innovation that emphasizes the role of users and regulation in the development and diffusion of eco-innovationproducts, by comparing the diffusion of two e-bike companies, CEP and Lvyan, from China and France.
These cases show that diffusion of eco-innovation in China and France is strongly linked to the institutional context and specific consumer needs, highlighting the importance of involving users in the development and diffusion of eco-innovation in order to satisfy market demand, and increase profit and competitiveness in niche markets. It also shows that, to achieve a comprehensive picture, institutions and policy makers should adopt a coevolutionary approach to regulation that includes consideration of technology, uses and practices.
The case of CEP reveals that regulation appropriate to the market fosterscompanies‟eco-innovation;compared to the case of Lvyan which shows that irrelevant regulation can become a barrier to the diffusion of eco-innovations such as the e-bikes.
The superior„ snob effects‟ of the French market are discussed and compared with the„ bandwagons effects‟ noted in the Chinese market.

 Full text on the French multi-discciplinary open access archive HAL

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Chinese migrant workers’ attitudes toward risks, strategic uncertainty, and competitivenesss

Li Hao Daniel Houser Lei Mao, Marie Claire Villeval  (2014), A field study of Chinese migrant workers’ attitudes toward risks, strategic uncertainty, and competitiveness,

Using a field experiment in China, we study whether migration status is correlated with attitudes toward risk, ambiguity, and competitiveness. Our subjects include migrants and non-migrants. We find that, migrants exhibit no differences from non-migrants in risk and ambiguity preferences elicited using pairs of lotteries ; however, migrants are significantly more likely to enter competition in the presence of strategic uncertainty when they expect competitive entries from others. Our results suggest that migration may be driven more by a stronger belief in one’s ability to succeed in an uncertain and competitive environment than by risk attitudes under state uncertainty.

Full text on the French multi-discciplinary open access archive HAL

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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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

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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

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Working paper UrbaChina no.4 now online

The UrbaChina team is pleased to announce the publication of the 4th UrbaChina working paper entitled “Central-local authority relationships and the institutional process of city creation“, edited by Ai Chi-han (Nanfang College, Sun Yat-sen University), Miguel Elosua (EHESS) and prof. Li Shantong (DRC).

As one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, China is experiencing the largest scale of urbanisation in human history. More and more land is required to support this massive urbanisation. However, rural land acquisition and compensation to the changes in farmers’ household registration (hukou) are complex issues in the process of urbanisation under the dual land tenure between city and rural areas in China. Furthermore, local government has been under increasing financial pressure after the tax sharing system was implemented in 1994. To raise funds and develop urban construction, various cities have undertaken different strategies of land development during their on-going urbanisation, which is also discussed in this study. Urbanisation is a process of expanding urban space with a view to develop the land efficiently. Therefore, the objective of this study is to introduce the dual land system in China, the evolution of farmers’ collective land ownership, and the process of governmental land acquisition. Subsequently, we will examine the case of the case of Shanghai Pudong New Area, which develops land with an insufficient financial support and its corresponding solutions. Finally, the authors highlight problems in the process of land acquisition and land development.

The UrbaChina working paper no.4 is now available on open access at the hal-FP7 UrbaChina paper collection.

Recommended citation: Ai, C., Elosua, M., & Li, Shantong. (2014). Central-local authority relationships and the institutional process of city creation (UrbaChina Working Paper no.4 October 2014). Paris: CNRS. Retrieved from https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01076092v1

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE – Nottingham Trent University)

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The end of the hukou system?

Goodburn, Charlotte (2014). The end of the hukou system? Not yet. China Policy Institute Policy Paper, 2. 7 p. Retrieved 9 September 2014 from: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/cpi/documents/policy-papers/cpi-policy-paper-2014-no-2-goodburn.pdf?utm_content=bufferd01fe&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

The July 2014 Chinese State Council circular on the “end of the hukou (household registration) system” has been greeted by a mixture of jubilation and scepticism in the press. The abolition of the distinction between rural and urban Chinese citizens, which has existed since the 1950s, is historic, and may be of symbolic importance, but much of the rest of the policy announcement is neither new nor likely to benefit most current and prospective rural-urban migrants. Real hukou reform will be difficult and costly, and remains a long way off.

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 Related

Hukou reform: Beijing abolishes “agricultural” residence class, but rural-urban split remains. China Economic Review, 8 September 2014. Retrieved 9 Sptember 2014 from: http://www.chinaeconomicreview.com/hukou-reform-beijing-abolishes-agricultural-residence-class-rural-urban-split-remains

When China’s State Council announced in late July that it would end the official division of Chinese residents into rural and urban, it ended a practice that for almost six decades represented the worst of the country’s oft-decried residence permit, or hukou, system. When introduced in the late 50’s the restrictive policy bifurcated Chinese into an urban minority with government-provided benefits and a rural majority expected to feed both cities and itself.

Today over half of China’s population already lives in the cities. A blueprint for the country’s urbanization announced in March plans for 60% of the population to be urban by 2020, meaning another 100 million Chinese will move to cities. The plan also calls for 45% of the population to have urban hukou, meaning another 250 million once-rural residents will need to be registered in cities. This would theoretically entitle them to better benefits in areas such as health care and education.

The State Council provided general guidelines in its recent announcement on how the central government wants urbanization to proceed: few to no residency rules for those migrating to smaller cities, and increasingly stringent requirements as urban populations pass the 1 and 3 million marks. Cities with over 5 million people can use a “points” system to decide who is accorded residence, a practice already used by larger cities like Beijing that weeds out the vast majority of hukou hopefuls in favor of high-earning or highly educated applicants.

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Monique Abud

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

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The hukou and land tenure systems as two middle income traps: the case of modern China

Wen, Guangzhong James and Xiong, Jinwu (2014). The hukou and land tenure systems as two middle income traps : the case of modern China. Author’s post-print. Final version published in Frontiers of Economics in China 2014, 9(3): 438-459. DOI: 10.3868/s060-003-014-0021-1.

China’s prevailing hukou (household registration) system and land tenure system seem to be very different in their applications. In fact, they both function to deny the exit right of rural residents from a rural community. Under these systems, rural residents are not allowed to freely exit from collectives if they do not want to lose their entitlements, such as their rights to using collectively owned land and their land-based properties. Farmers are neither allowed to sell their houses to outsiders, nor allowed to sell to outsiders their rights to contracting a piece of land from the collective where their households are registered. For migrant workers from rural areas, it is extremely difficult for them to obtain an urban hukou with all its associated entitlements at an urban locality where they currently work and live. The combined effect of the two systems leads to serious distortions in labor and land markets, resulting in discrimination against migrant workers, sprawling yet exclusive urbanization, housing bubbles, and depressed domestic demand. These distortions further entrench the existing and much widened urban/rural divide. Unless these two systems are thoroughly reformed, the rural residents in Chinese mainland will be trapped in their comparatively much lower income and remain unable to share the gains from the agglomeration effects of urbanization.

Related

  • Wen, Guangzhong James and Xiong, Jinwu (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, 2013, 8(4): 516-534.
    Full text available at publisher’s website.

 

 

Monique Abud

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

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Working paper UrbaChina no.3 now online

The UrbaChina team is pleased to announce the publication of the 3d UrbaChina working paper entitled “Urbanisation in China: regional development and co-operation among cities“.

This paper, edited by prof. Du Debin (HUADA) and prof. Huang Li (HUADA), examines the regional patterns of urbanisation in China and co-operation among Chinese cities. By studying the case of Shanghai, the authors show that the central government’s objective is to develop regional urban clusters and to promote exchanges and relations on a regional basis.

The UrbaChina working paper no.3 is now available on open access at the hal-FP7 UrbaChina paper collection.

Recommended citation: Du, D. & Huang, L. (2014). Urbanisation in China: regional development and co-operation among cities (UrbaChina Working Paper no.3, July 2014). Paris: CNRS. Retrieved from http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01023259

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE – Nottingham Trent University)

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Emerging markets and migration policy: China

Pieke, Frank N. (2014). Emerging markets and migration policy : China. (Note de l’IFRI). Paris : IFRI, Center of Migration and Citizenship.

China is known for its large pool of labour force as well as for having the largest diaspora in the world. Nevertheless, China’s economic growth is at the source of a new demographic trend: following a 2010 census, there are more than 1 million foreigners in China, as many as in a mid-sized European country. Migrants of Chinese origin, students, high-skilled migrants, low-skilled migrants from adjacent countries: the profiles of these new residents are diverse.

To respond to these new immigration flows, a law on Entry and Exit has been adopted in 2012. Does this new law solve the three main issues posed by immigration to China: the adequacy of China’s migration policy with regards to its economic needs; the clarification of procedures and the integration of foreigners?

Frank N. Pieke, chair professor in Modern China Studies at Leiden University, opens a discussion on these questions in a dynamic E-Note highlighting the issues facing China as it develops its migration policy.

Dowload full text on IFRI website

 

Monique Abud

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

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The study of festival tourism development of Shanghai

Tang Congcong, The study of festival tourism development of Shanghai,   International Journal of Business and Social Science, March 2014.  ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online)

In recent years, the festival tourism as a new form of tourism products in the rapid development of China, won the local governments’welcome. Various regions are hold many different types and content of festival activities, but at the same time, how to set up own brand festival did not cause the attention of the government. Research planning creative festival tourism, can better meet the demand of tourism consumers, improve the visibility of the city and drive the development of regional economy, It will further promote the healthy development of festival tourism.
This paper first introduces the related concepts and characteristics of festival tourism;
Second analyzes the development status of Shanghai festival tourism and the existence questions;
Then, to Shanghai Tourism Festival as an example for empirical analysis, analyze the influence of festival tourism on city. At last, according to the problems put forward constructive Suggestions, in order to provide reference for the sustainable development of festival tourism in Shanghai.

 

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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The middle-class protest in urban China

Shi, Fayong (2014). Improving local governance without challenging the State: the middle-class protest in urban China. China: An International Journal, 12 (1), pp. 153-162.

The first decade of the new century had seen an increase in rights-protection protests in urban China. The main participants of these protests were local middle-class residents who initiated protests to raise issues on specific economic and social problems as opposed to abstract sociopolitical issues. They have started to claim rights which were granted to citizens by law in principle but never actually delivered. The sociopolitical changes facilitate the emergence and success of middle-class protests, which in turn have contributed to the improvement of local governance and positively reshaped local politics. However, their influence on the macro political structure of China remains to be seen.

Full text available on Projet MUSE (restricted access)

 

Monique Abud

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

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