Category Archives: Aurelia Martin

URBACHINA: sustainable development for Chinese cities?

Interview with François Gipouloux (coordinator of the UrbaChina project) by Alessandra Rebecchini at GBtimes France, on 2 May 2014.

Francois Gipouloux, professor and researcher at the EHESS, teaches Asian-European comparative international economics.

Since 2011 Gipouloux has directed the European funded project UrbaChina, a collaborative project in which 11 Chinese and European research centres work towards sustainable urbanisation in China.

What strategies, what “advice” could Europe give China to be able to develop its cities and transport network? How can it integrate rural populations in these news cities?

UrbaChina is exploring different avenues.1

Listen to the podcast here (in French).

  1. Translation by Aurélia Martin. []

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Call for papers: Ideas of the city in Asia

Call for papers for “Ideas of the city in Asia” for the annual one-day seminar “Asian Metropolises”, organised by IPRAUS and DSA “Architecture and Urban Projets”, which will take place at ENSA Paris-Belleville (60 Bd de la Villette, 75019 Paris) on 24 May 2014.

Contemporary urban phenomena in Asia can no longer be understood through the concepts long used to define what a city is, and to distinguish it from what it is not (for example, contrasting “urban” with “rural”). These concepts have become obsolete in the face of radical urban transformation, which marks the entry of these cities into the modern world, and which seems to call into question the very idea of “city” as a recognisable physical entity. The seminar day on “ideas of the city” in Asia will consider the evolution of meaning attached to these concepts and representations associated nowadays with Asian cities as spatial, political and social entities.

The seminar’s objective is to find the keys to understanding complex urban realities in Asia, and to offer suitable theoretical and methodological tools to study these realities. The speakers will attempt to show whether, and to what extent, urban planning reflects thoughts on the future, elaborated from the urban planners heterogeneous cultural horizons, and rooted in different ethical, political and philosophical schemes. Does the discussion around the concept of city, today disseminated at a global level by international organisations, influence professional thinking? How do the players involved in various urban capacities describe a city where “life is good” and imagine an “urban future”? What are the ideals pursued by the architects, urban planners and public players? Contributions may focus on the appearance of brands (such as the “creative city” or “smart city”), which express social aspirations, but which, at the same time, reinforce global competition between cities.

Speakers may also explore how urban planning creates a relationship with past heritage. In modern times, urban planning cannot ignore inherited patterns and legacies, even if this relationship is sometimes expressed in terms of denial. It is therefore appropriate to examine how urban plans contribute to breaking off from legacy, or, on the contrary, are revitalised by spatial and cultural heritage of cities. To what type of heritage do we attribute value in the making of the contemporary city, and why? Speakers may analyse the politics and heritage projects, but, more broadly, they will examine how urban planning is inspired or incorporates heritage, and what logic underlies this reference set.

The seminar welcomes contributions that analyse urban planning documentation and their relationship with their theoretical, discursive and ethical foundations from various disciplinary perspectives. The authors are especially encouraged to examine the reactivation of inherited urban models, some ancient, in contemporary city plans; contemporary usage of heritage, the manipulation of urban history by the selective erasure of certain legacies, and promotion of others; the role of heritage in urban strategy; the analysis of discourse concerning the image of the city; contemporary utopias and urban ideals; and the “virtualisation” of the city, designed as a screen for economic activities and a platform for technological development.1

Please send proposals (max. 2500 characters including spaces) before 28 March 2014 to

See original full call posted on the China Centre’s blog (in French).

  1. Translation by Aurélia Martin. []

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Mapping the use of Vélo’v


Jean-Baptiste Rouquier and Pierre Borgnat, “Cartographie des pratiques du Vélo’v : le regard de physiciens et d’informaticiens”*, Revue Sciences/Lettres [Online], 2 | 2014, 17 October 2012 (accessed  7 March 2014).

From the study of the data of Vélo’v, the Bicycle Sharing System of Lyon and Villeurbanne, several issues are discussed about how researchers from computer science and physics, and not from geography or cartography, were lead to draw maps representing these data. First, the diversity of available digital data is shown, especially for studies related to social or human studies. Some tools to manipulate them are discussed. The example of the Vélo’v data of trips illustrates why and how to propose maps describing features about the movements made with these bikes, or about the availability of bikes or free stands at stations. This practice gives way to a conclusion that suggests a whole new meaning related to the mass of data.

Read the full article here (in French).

(Translation by Revue Sciences/Lettres.)

*”Mapping the use of Vélo’v: a physicist and computer scientist perspective”

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Call for applications – CEFC, IEA (IAS), Collège de France


CEFC short-term fieldwork grant for doctoral research on contemporary China

The French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) is offering three fieldwork grants for doctoral students, ranging from one to three months, to be carried out between May and December 2014 in China, Hong Kong or Taiwan. The grant comprises a monthly stipend of 1200 € as well as a round-trip air ticket between Europe and China, Hong Kong or Taiwan, within the limit of 1000 €.


31 March 2014

Complete applications must be submitted in a single PDF file (max: 10 pages, 1.5 line spacing), addressed to the Director of the CEFC, by email to Alfred Aroquiame ( with the subject line “Fieldwork Grant 2014”.

If sending the application by ordinary mail then it must reach the CEFC by 7 April 2014.


Alfred Aroquiame E-mail: or Sebastian Veg

20/F Wanchai Central Bldg.
89 Lockhart Road
Wanchai, HK.

Tel. (852) 2876 6914 or 6910

See the call for applications on the CEFC website.

Fellowships at the Paris Institute for Advanced Studies (Paris IAS) in 2015-2016

The Paris Institute for Advanced Studies welcomes applications from all over the world from established scholars and scientists in the fields of the humanities, the social sciences and related fields for periods of five or nine months, respectively. 

The Paris IAS will host twenty international guest researchers for 2014-2015 to work freely on the project of their choice, to benefit from the scientific environment of the Institute, and to create contacts with researchers in the academic institutions of Greater Paris.


30 April 2014


Paris IEA
17 Quai d’Anjou 75004 Paris
Tél. + 33 (0)1 56 81 09 17

See the call for applications on the Paris IAS website.

One year fellowship at the Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale of the Collège de France (Paris)

The Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale, based at the Collège de France in Paris, will hire a researcher for a one-year post-doctoral contract starting 1 September 2014 to study the perception of animal diseases in southeast Asia (including China, India and Indonesia).

This position takes part to the project « Social representations of pathogens at the frontiers between species », sponsored by the Axa Research Fund and led by Philippe Descola and Frédéric Keck. The goal of this three-year project is to compare the perception of animal diseases by breeders and health authorities in different parts of the Asia-Pacific area. In the course of this project, three positions will be available : Central Asia (2013), South-East Asia (2014) and Australia (2015).


  • Applicants must have been awarded a PhD before the start of the contract.
  • Language skills and expertise related to the area of concern
  • Experience in ethnographic description and comparative theory
  • Ability to engage in a collaborative research with publications and participation to scholarly activity
  • Knowledge in human/animal relationships and/or medical anthropology would be appreciated

In the framework of this post-doctoral contract, the applicant will

  • receive a 2200 € net salary from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2015;
  • benefit from the environment of the Collège de France – high-quality libraries, research seminars and teaching at the centre of Paris;
  • have the financial means to do fieldwork in the area of concern under the tutorship of renowned experts of this field;
  • acquire knowledge on animal diseases and participate to the activities of the team “Relations hommes/animaux : questions contemporaines” (;
  • organize a workshop to maintain the international network of the project created by the launching workshop : “Zoonoses and emergence of new infectious diseases : when biology meets anthropology” (


15 April 2014

Candidates must send a CV, a sample of writing (article or PhD chapter) and a statement of suitability (less than 3000 words).


Frédéric Keck, E-mail:

Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale
52 rue Cardinal Lemoine
75005 Paris


Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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China: tradition and modernity



20-22 February 2014


Lisbon, Portugal


Name: Instituto Português de Sinologia

E-mail: ipsinologiagmailcom

Details: The Organizing Committee of the Instituto Português de Sinologia
ISCSP – Pólo Universitário da Ajuda, gab. 40, piso 2
Tel: 213 619 430 (ext: 453074)
Fax: 213 619 442

Topic details

Geocultural area(s): China

Discipline(s): Economics, Philology, Sociology


China is a huge country with a history stretching over millennia. An immeasurable number of its customs and values have lasted down the ages, surviving the impact of successive waves of modernity that have assailed it. Some of the old values came down to us often confused with habits or traditions. And so it is that, with every aspect of contemporary Chinese society being deeply rooted in tradition, the country is at the same time experiencing a period of increasing creativity.

Tradition and modernity are in fact complementary, and together they may represent socio-cultural equilibrium. With the theme ‘China: Tradition and Modernity’, the 9th International Sinology Forum will address the various contemporaneities of this extraordinary country, looking at their philosophical, cultural, economic and social facets.

This topic should be approached by communications through the following items:

  • Tradition in modernity: how, despite modernization, the Chinese people have managed to keep certain traditions in their daily lives, their ways of thinking, their rituals, festivals, etc.;
  • The Consumption of tradition and the commodification of the past;
  • The attraction of the West and the influence of western philosophy on Chinese tradition;
  • Neo-Confucianism and the re-engagement with tradition;
  • Economic modernization, the reformulation of Chinese traditional economic structures and the subsequent shifts in social stratification;
  • The continuity of traditional visual and performative arts and the new artistic panorama;
  • The continuity of literary traditions and the new literary panorama;
  • Myths, Heroes, Icons and Modernity;
  • Tradition and modernity in urban spaces (architecture, public art);
  • Local Development and Heritage.

The organising committee informs :

  1. The 9th International Sinology Forum will be held in Leiria (Escola Superior de Educação e Ciências Sociais, Instituto Politécnico de Leiria).
  2. Later on, more information will be provided about parallel activities to the conference.

Finally, note that the Portuguese Institute of Sinology offers free registration.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Panel on urban mutation in China


25 January 2014, 4.30 p.m. to 6 p.m.


BnF François-Mittérand, Paris


Presented and hosted by Françoise Ged, Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine. The panelists are:

  • Pierre Haski, co-founder of Rue89 and former correspondant for Libération in Beijing,
  • Bruno Jean Hubert, architect at Hubert & Roy Architectes and professor at the École nationale supérieure d’architecture Paris-Malaquais,
  • Hu Jiani, architect, studying for a DSA at the École de Chaillot,
  • Lu Ning, accociate architect, Building for Climate, Architecture Urbanisme et Etudes Environmentales,
  • Jean-Louis Rocca, research director at the Centre d’études et de recherches internationales (CERI), Sciences Po-CNRS and tenured professor at the Institut d’études politiques, Paris.

Admission is free, without prior reservation, within the number of places available.

For more information please consult the BnF website (French).

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Villa Basset: French Consul’s residence in Shanghai

Couverture ShanghaiMarie-Claire Bergère , Françoise Ged, Danielle Elisseeff and Jérémy Cheval (2013). La Villa Basset : Résidence du consul général de France à Shanghai. Paris: Editions Internationales du Patrimoine.Collection / Série : Résidences de France ; 11. . Translators: Ju Wang et Xiaoli Wei. Photography: Jonathan Leijonhufvud.

From the mid-19th century to just after the Second World War, the responsibilities of the French Consul in Shanghai were twofold. On one hand, he must protect French interests in the face of senior officials of the local Chinese authorities and the agents of major foreign powers represented in Shanghai. On the other hand, he must oversee the management of the French Concession and ensure compliance, security, public order, urban planning regulation, education and health in this semi-colonial enclave. The consular residence with its vast administrative annexes was the principal power centre of this flourishing cosmopolitan metropolis for a century1.

The villa Basset is returning to the limelight. Listed as a historical building of Shanghai since 1994, it has also been registered since 2003 in the largest of the 12 protected areas of the city, an innovative municipal measure in China at the time. With this classification, as with the rest of Shanghai, the stories of the people who lived in this residence are coming out of the shadows too2.

Built in 1921 by French architects from the Crédit Foncier d’Extrême-Orient (Far East mortgage bank) by order of Lucien Basset, the consular villa combines Asian and European influences. Its hybrid architecture elegantly combines neoclassical columns, Flemish roofing, Italian balconies, capitals and mosaics and Chinese landscaped and rock gardens. This “Mediterranean” or “Italian style” house, whose story keeps the print of its successive occupants, remains a historical witness of the distinctive architecture of the old French Concession3.

The visitor enters this beautiful residence through the north side, as ordinary citizens and suppliers from the Forbidden City did during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911); but here, the vegetation surrounding the porch allows us to imagine what lies beyond, south of the house. We can easily guess that this visit, as with all beautiful villas built in Shanghai by Europeans during the Republic, will end in the garden, living jewel of the property4.

For more information.

  1. p. 17, text by Marie-Claire Bergère. []
  2. p. 59, text by Françoise Ged. []
  3. p.105, text by Jérémy Cheval. []
  4. p. 127, text by Danielle Elisseeff. []

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Rural tourist spaces in the Yangtze River Delta

Emmanuel Véron (2013) “Rural tourist spaces in the Yangtze River Delta, between town-country integration and rural development”, EchoGéo [Online], n° 26 | published online on 19 December 2013, accessed 06 January 2014. URL: ; DOI: 10.4000/echogeo.13607


Domestic tourism in China is still a little discussed topic in French geography. However, the touristic phenomenon is under diversification and maturation. The recent interest of city dwellers to discover and travel to the countryside as an “elsewhere whishes” gives new perspectives in geography, in particular, new relationships between urban and rural world. The national policy of rural modernization “construction of new socialist countryside” from the 11th five year plan (2006-2010) provides a rural tourism planning. We take the lower Yangzi area to exemplify a spatial organization of rural tourism around Shanghai.



The evolution of a domestic tourism industry: a new interest for the countryside
Free time, leisure time
Increased tourist mobility on the city outskirts
A fresh appreciation for the countryside?

Typology of revitalised spaces for and by tourism: the result of a new rurality
The villages and water towns of Jiangnan
Chinese rural guesthouses or Nongjiale
Parks and agritourism

The spatial organisation of rural tourism in the outskirts of Shanghai
The expansion of tourism to the rural outskirts beyond municipal boundaries
The municipal territory of Shanghai, leisure outskirts of an emerging metropolis?
Around the Lake Tai: a tourism strategy for short stays
New urban-rural relationships: the role of rural tourism


The article is written in French. Read it here.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Call for Applications

Call for Applications: CEFC Researcher and director of the Sino-French Academic Center (based in Beijing)

The French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) invites applications for a Researcher position, based in Beijing, as director of the Sino-French Academic Center (two-year expatriation contract, renewable once). Applicants must hold a PhD in the humanities or social sciences and be confirmed academics with a strong research track record on contemporary China.

Start date from 2 May 2014.

How to Apply

The position is restricted to citizens of member countries of the European Union, preferably holding an academic or research position.

Details and online application can be found on the website of the French ministry of Foreign and European affairs: Position no.001520. You can also download the description of the position here.

Candidates must use the appropriate form downloadable here and follow the instructions it contains (do not use the online form).

The research project submitted by the applicant should contain a brief outline of collaborative activities planned at the CFC Beijing.

Applicants who have already applied to the Researcher position at the CEFC Hong Kong must submit a new application if they wish to apply for the Beijing position.


Alfred Aroquiame –

Deadline for the application

10 February 2014

More information on the website of the CEFC and the CFC.


  • It is preferable to fill out the application form in French, but acceptable to use English.
  • Short-listed candidates will be notified of an interview date in Paris (travel costs at their own expense).
  • It is preferable to have some working knowledge of French, but motivated candidates committed to improving their French language will be considered.


Appel à candidatures : poste de chercheur au CEFC-directeur du Centre franco-chinois (Pékin)

Le Centre d’études français sur la Chine contemporaine (UMIFRE 18, MAEE-CNRS) recrute un chercheur sur contrat d’expatriation (2 ans renouvelable une fois). Les candidats doivent être titulaires d’une thèse en sciences humaines et sociales, et spécialistes de la Chine contemporaine.

Prise de fonction à partir du 2 mai 2014.

Comment Candidater

Détails et candidature en ligne sur le site Transparence du ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes : Emploi no. 001520.

Vous pouvez également télécharger ici la fiche descriptive du poste.

Ce poste est destiné prioritairement à des enseignants-chercheurs ou des chercheurs confirmés, français ou de l’Union européenne, titulaires de l’enseignement supérieur.

Les candidats doivent utiliser le formulaire approprié et suivre les instructions qui y figurent (ne pas remplir le formulaire en ligne sur le site de la Transparence) : formulaire_chercheur_2013

Le projet de recherche devra comporter un bref aperçu des activités collectives que le candidat se propose de mener au CFC Pékin.

Attention : les candidats ayant déposé un dossier pour le poste de chercheur au CEFC Hong Kong doivent déposer un nouveau dossier s’ils souhaitent également postuler au poste de chercheur-directeur du CFC Pékin.


Alfred Aroquiame :

Date limite d’envoi du dossier de candidature

10 février 2014

Plus d’informations sont disponibles sur le site du CEFC et du CFC.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Two PhD studentships from UK Research Councils

AHRC Funding for UK/EU Arts and Humanities Research Students

The Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership will be awarding 410 PhD studentships over a five-year period to research students in the arts and humanities. The DTP is a collaboration between the universities of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, Leicester, De Montfort, Birmingham and Birmingham City.

The School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham invites PhD application from students (see the CEFC website for relevant research subjects).


9 January 2014


For full details of eligibility, funding and research supervision areas, please visit or contact


ESRC DTC Scholarships (Home/ EU)

This studentship is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and includes full UK/EU tuition fees, plus a doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£13,590 p.a. for 2012/13, updated each year) for applicants who are UK citizens or meet the UK residency requirement. UK Research Council conditions apply.

The School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, supported by the University of Nottingham ESRC Doctoral Training Centre (DTC), invites applications for fully funded PhD studentships in 2013:

  • 1+3 MA in Language Based Area Studies followed by PhD Programme,
  • +3 PhD programme in Language Based Area Studies.

Proposals are invited in any of the areas in the study of China listed on the CEFC’s website.


14 January 2014


Details of the ESRC DTC application procedure are at

• The University of Nottingham’s ESRC DTC website (this includes the ESRC application form).

• Academic contact – Dr Niv Horesh

• Administrative support and general queries about applications – Mandy Felton


For more information, please click here to visit the CEFC’s website.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Call for papers: New European Research on Contemporary China


2-4 July, 2014


Beijing (Delegation of the European Union to China)

Deadline for submission

15 February 2014


Ms. Miriam Yang,

This conference aims to bring together doctoral candidates, post-doctoral researchers and recent PhDs based in China, either European nationals or affiliated with European research institutions, in order to produce an overview of the emerging problematics in Chinese studies. The focus of the conference is on contemporary China, in a multi-disciplinary social science perspective.

Along with the growing exchanges between China and Europe, the number of European doctoral candidates and recent PhDs in humanities and social sciences doing research in and studying China has increased; many young Chinese scholars also choose to bring their expertise on contemporary China to European academic institutions. They all represent the future of European research on contemporary China. The main purpose of this Conference held for the second time in Beijing is to provide a forum for these young researchers at the European level and in China. The success of the first edition held in 2012 which gathered 50 young researchers from 15 countries (selected among 130 applicants) confirmed the necessity to provide such a forum for reflection and discussion. The Conference will be an occasion to facilitate exchanges on common research subjects, compare perspectives and methodologies, and promote interdisciplinary dialogue. By providing a space for debate and reflection, the Conference intends to contribute to the emergence of more diverse theoretical approaches on the subject. It will enable the participants not only to expand their network and broaden their horizon, but also to take part in the construction of European research networks and promote China-Europe dialogue.


  • French Center for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) and Sino-French Academic Center (CFC, Tsinghua University)
  • EURAXESS Links China

Supported by

  • Delegation of the European Union to China
  • European Center for China Studies (ECCS), Peking University
  • Heinrich-Böll Foundation
  • Think in China

Who can apply?

The Conference is designed for doctoral candidates and recent PhDs in humanities and social sciences currently in China or planning to be in China in the summer of 2014, either European nationals or affiliated with a European university or research institute, regardless of nationality. Among the different disciplines that will be considered: anthropology, law, economics, geography, history, literature, international relations, political sciences and sociology.

Practical arrangements

The conference will sponsor domestic travel within China and accommodation in Beijing for selected participants; however, no funding is available for international travel.

Registration details and schedule

  1. A paper title and abstract (up to 20 lines) in English is to be sent by 15 February 2014 to Ms. Miriam Yang:
  2. The selected participants will be notified by 15 April 2014.
  3. The final papers (up to 8000 words) should be sent by 31 May 2014.
  4. Selected papers may be published in the journal China Perspectives/ Perspectives chinoises.

For more information.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Urban systems in China and India

Elfie Swerts (e-mail) defended her thesis entitled “Urban systems in China and India” on 25 October 2013, prepared at Pantheon-Sorbonne University (Paris I) and at the Ecole Doctorale de Géographie of Paris, under the supervision of Denise Pumain (Professor at Pantheon-Sorbonne University, UMR* 8504 Géographie-cités) and Eric Denis (Research assistant at the CNRS, UMR 8504 Géographie-cités), with the support of Veolia Environnement Recherche et Innovation and ERC GeoDiverCity (led by Denise Pumain).

She received the highest honour from the jury : “mention très honorable avec félicitation du jury à l’unanimité” (very honourable with the congratulation of the jury). The jury members were:

  • Anne Bretagnolle, Professor at Paris I University, president
  • Eric Denis, Research assistant at the CNRS, thesis supervisor
  • François Gipouloux, Director of Research at the CNRS, Director UMR 8173 China, Korea, Japan, examiner
  • Frédéric LANDY, Professor at Paris Ouest-Nanterre University, honorary membre of the Institut Universitaire de France, rapporteur
  • Denise Pumain, Professor at Paris I University, membre of the Institut Universitaire de France, thesis supervisor
  • Céline Rozenblat, Associate professor at the Université de Lausanne, rapporteur

Elfie Swerts will continue her research on retrospective and prospective modelling of the demographic evolution of urban systems in India and China within ERC GeoDiverCity, and on the economic ties between the cities of these two systems and the rest of the world within the framework of the ORBIS project, led by Céline Rozenblat. She will also refine her research by delving deeper into the question of small town dynamics in India, collaborating with ANR SUBURBIN, led by Eric Denis and Marie-Hélène Zerah (Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi), and the question of financial dynamics and real estate trends in urban systems in India and China, collaborating with ANR FINURBASIE, led by Natacha Aveline (Director of Research CNRS, UMR 8504 Géographie-cités) and Ludovic Halbert (CNRS researcher, attached to the Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires, Sociétés of Val de Marne University).


This thesis compares the urban systems in China and India using dedicated data bases that have been constructed using comparable and harmonized principles, describing the evolution of the population of all urban agglomerations above 10 000 inhabitants, every ten years from the beginning of 20th century for India and 1964 for China. Both very large countries of ancient urbanization are characterized by many small towns and have developed gigantic metropolises during the last decades.

Despite their geo-historical specific features, these two systems share with others in the world the same properties of hierarchical differentiation and urban growth processes (Zipf’s law and Gibrat’s model), at country scale as well as for regional subsystems. A regional diversity is linked to former processes of unequal concentration of urban development.

The most interesting result is identifying for the first time a reverse trend in the evolution of the Chinese urban hierarchy compared to other countries in the world among which India: despite the very rapid recent urban growth, the inequalities in city sizes are decreasing. This may in part depend of the under-registration of migrant urban populations. It also reveals the power of the political control on China’s urban processes that also appears in the magnitude of spatial concentration of manufacturing cities due to the implantation of Special economic Zones.

Comparing the trajectories of Indian and Chinese cities may well improve the prospect of global urbanization that is crucial for the world and the planet.

*UMR: Joint Research Unit

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Ecologie & politique 47 – Today’s political ecology in China

Écologie & politique 47, Les écologies politiques aujourd’hui (5) Chine (2013). Coordination: Jean-Paul Maréchal. Paris: Presse de Sciences Po


After thirty years of the economy growing at almost 10% per year, China is now faced with the challenge of environmental limits. Lakes, streams, the air, the soil are all affected. This degradation has sparked sometimes violent demonstrations from the people concerned, already in the tens of thousands every year. This report discusses how the environmental issue is making its way in the civil society and spheres of government of the Middle Kingdom.

Political Ecology in China [p.17]

Jean-Paul Maréchal

Summary – The purpose of this article is to highlight how three decades of sustained growth have resulted in a massive deterioration of the environment in China. The severity of pollution has lead to social discontent, which threatens the government’s legitimacy. Thus, a number of measures have been taken by the government to address the issue, but, given the scale of the challenge, these cannot yield results in the short term.

The Green Awakening of Chinese Society? [p.27]

Marie-Hélène Schwoob

Abstract – China’s current political transition raises questions about which path should the new leadership take in the process of reshaping relationships between the State and society. This evolution is made necessary by the moving frontiers of roles played by stakeholders, particularly in the field of environmental protection: from limited circles of environmental activism, encouraged as well as controlled by the government since the 1990s, the civil society is today moving towards more independent ways of demonstrating its environmental awareness, as recent events have shown. However, even after the fall of Bo Xilai—which led people to believe in a “victory” of the Guangdong’s liberalist model—vigorous debates opposing claims for reform and resilient conservatism are still taking place in China.

Nature Bursts into Canton. NGOs, State and Global Norms [p.39]

Monique Selim

Abstract – This article seeks to analyze the representations of nature and the practices related to these representations in contemporary China. It is based on an anthropological research conducted in Guangzhou, capital of the Guangdong province, a city rather opened to outside influences due to its proximity with Hong Kong and therefore rather less affected by the control of the party-state than the rest of the country. The author shows how small groups of environmentalists appear, and study the political relations that develop from this new tropism. Between the control of the party-state and the subversive logic that underlie the very idea of nature conservation, a very diverse rank of attitudes and conceptions showing the entrance of China into a global world can be grasped.

Ecology, Confucius and Democracy. A Critical Analysis of Chinese Rhetoric of « Ecological Civilization » [p.51]

Gwennaël Gaffric and Jean-Yves Heurtebise

Abstract – In the last past years, the catch-phrase “ecological civilization” flourished in China and became widely used by both academic and politicians. This article aims at addressing the underlying (philosophical and political) reasons of its growing use. We contend that this notion, based on a culturalist and nationalist interpretation of “traditional Chinese thought” (presented as the very antidote to “Western thought”), plays an instrumental role in China’s discursive strategy of power consisting in using Chinese philosophical textual tradition to support national and international interests. This paper’s goal is to critically analyze this discourse in order to rethink the fundamental relationship between ecopolitics and democracy.

Environmental Justice as Fairness. The Politicization of Environmental Conflicts in the Popular Republic of China [p.63]

Richard Balme

Abstract – This paper explores developments in environmental policy-making in China under the angle of environmental justice. While the extent of environmental damages and their social impacts are relatively well known, the political implications of environmental conflicts are less documented. The paper shows that the developments of legislation, collective action, public participation and litigation, served as converging factors to allow for some significant improvements in environmental policy-making procedures over the last decade. Although these innovation remained local, and far from reversing the general state of the environment in China, they introduced significant changes in the patterns of interaction among relevant policy stakeholders.

China’s Policy Responses to Climate Change [p.77]

Giulia C. Romano

Abstract – In the global warming issue, China now covers the record of the first world polluter. Moreover, by far the country has shown a reticent attitude towards the possibility of engaging in an international accord stipulating concrete targets for emissions reduction. But how could we explain the partial change occurred in Durban, where China finally accepted the EU-proposed “platform?” We try to answer this question by observing the internal context and asking another preliminary question: has China adopted a climate change policy? The answer seems to be positive.

The Challenge for China of Building a New Global Climate Regime [p.89]

Jean-Paul Maréchal

Abstract – This article evaluates China’s contribution to the global warming phenomenon and the role she can be expected to play in the future. It also analyzes Beijing’s attitude in the international negotiations concerning global climate change, in order to understand the difficulties to conceive and implement a “post-Kyoto” climate regime.

China and Green Technologies: A New Kind of Security Dilemma? [p.103]

Emmanuel Meneut

Abstract – The pollution and the high Chinese level of emitted greenhouse gas are a challenge for the Communist Party and the Chinese political regime. The internal challenge is coming from the consequences of pollution on the population and the large discontent it fuels. The external challenge is due to the international stage position of the first greenhouse gas producer and the second GDP of the world economy. This major challenge requires a structural change of the energy production and consumption of the country. As a consequence, China became one of the main actors of the energy transition through its two last five-year plans. The huge investment level in clean tech energy conversion chains is the translation of the Chinese political will. This situation creates tensions with Western countries.

For more information,see the official Écologie & Politique website (French).

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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China and its migrants by Chloé Froissart

Chloé Froissart (2013) China and its migrants. Presses universitaires de Rennes. coll. Res Publica.

China’s economic reforms have triggered the greatest rural exodus in world history, which now presents one of the major challenges the Chinese regime must face. While binding the Party to exercise the rule of law, the opening up of the market has also created a new social class, migrant workers, seemingly second-class citizens in the cities of their own country.

This book shows how the role of migrants in society has evolved and how this evolution has redefined Chinese citizenship, without calling into question the principals which support the Party’s dominance. By combining an analysis of public politics to a social and political approach focused on society’s resistance, Froissart brings to light the dynamics and tensions which underlie the Chinese regime’s transformation.

Based on five years of field studies, this book offers an unprecedented insight into the manner in which the Party has been able to adapt itself to the changes arising since the launch of the reforms and find its own way to modernity.

This book was developed from Chloé Froissart’s prize winning doctoral thesis.

Chloé Froissart will be presenting her book at several venues in November. She will make an appearance:

She has also given an interview, in French, to the radio station RCF in two parts, aired November 12 and 13, which will be available on podcast on their website.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Financial circuits and urban production in the global south (2)

The Centre d’Etudes Français de la Chine contemporaine (French Centre for Research on Contemporary China) (CEFC), the Laboratoire Techniques Territoires Sociétés (LATTS), the research unit Géographie-cités and the Réseau Asie-Pacifique (Asia & Pacific Network) are pleased to invite you to the ANR Finurbasie’s second workshop dedicated to the theme: Financial circuits and urbanisation in the global south (2).


Tuesday, Novembre 5, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Réseau Asie, Bâtiment Le France
Floor 6 (A elevators), plateau CNRS, Room 638
190 avenue de France, 75013 Paris


  •  10 a.m. – Welcome and introduction of the ANR Finurbasie project: Natacha Aveline (Géographie-cités, CEFC) and Ludovic Halbert (LATTS)

Morning: Middle East and North Africa

session in French chaired by Aurélie Varrel (CEIAS)
  •  10:30 a.m. – Burcu Ozdirlik (Lab’Urba): The structuring of the Turkish real estate industry and the new financial networks: the case of Istanbul’s new business centre. Discussion: Eric Denis (Géographie-cités)
  •  11:30 a.m. – Pierre-Arnaud Barthel (LATTS-IFU) and Leila Vignal (ESO-Université de Rennes 2): Big urban projects after the “Arab Spring” (2011): business as usual or signs of a rift in the political economy of these city areas? Discussion: Eric Denis (Géographie-cités)
  • 12:30 p.m. – Lunch buffet

Afternoon: Hong Kong and China

session in English chaired by Ludovic Halbert (LATTS)
  • 13:30 p.m. – Natacha Aveline (Géographie-cités, CEFC): Spatial and social impact of capital liquidity in real estate – the experience of the Hong Kong REITs. Discussion: Thierry Theurillat (Université de Neuchâtel)
  • 14:30 p.m. – Thomas Vendryes (ENS Cachan, Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne): Real estate investments and land rights in rural China. Discussion: Thierry Theurillat (Université de Neuchâtel)
  • 15:30 p.m. – Coffee break
  • 16 p.m. – Manuel Aalbers (Université de Leuven): Presentation of the research project (ERC starting grant) on Hong Kong and Chine: The Real Estate / Financial Complex. Discussion: Thierry Theurillat (Université de Neuchâtel)

Entry is free and open to all, but registration is required. Please contact:

For the full programme PDF go here.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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