Tag Archives: globalization

Fantasy islands

Sze, Julie (2015). Fantasy islands : Chinese dreams and ecological fears in an age of climate crisis. Oakland : University of California press. 248 p. (“A Philip E. Lilienthal Book in Asian Studies”). ISBN : 978-0-5202-8448-7.

11623.110The rise of China and its status as a leading global factory are altering the way people live and consume. At the same time, the world appears wary of the real costs involved. Fantasy Islands probes Chinese, European, and American eco-desire and eco-technological dreams, and examines the solutions they offer to environmental degradation in this age of global economic change.

Uncovering the stories of sites in China, including the plan for a new eco-city called Dongtan on the island of Chongming, mega-suburbs, and the Shanghai World Expo, Julie Sze explores the flows, fears, and fantasies of Pacific Rim politics that shaped them. She charts how climate change discussions align with US fears of China’s ascendancy and the related demise of the American Century, and she considers the motives of financial and political capital for eco-city and ecological development supported by elite power structures in the UK and China. Fantasy Islands shows how ineffectual these efforts are while challenging us to see what a true eco-city would be.


1. Fear, Loathing, Eco-Desire: Chinese Pollution in a Transnational World
2. Changing Chongming
3. Dreaming Green: Engineering the Eco-City
4. It’s a Green World After All? Marketing Nature and Nation in Suburban Shanghai
5. Imagining Ecological Urbanism at the World Expo

More information


Monique Abud

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

More Posts

Spatial inequality in Asia

Special Session at the 2015 AAG Annual Meeting: The Geography of Inequality in Asia

Inequality is a fundamental issue for human society, a core subject of academic inquiry, and a major concern of governments. There has been a long-lasting debate about the pattern, trajectory, and mechanisms of geographical inequality, as well as policies that address poverty and inequality. This debate has been dominated by convergence (e.g., neoclassical economics) and divergence (e.g., dependency, neo-Marxism) schools. Concerns for the negative effects of globalization and liberalization and the unequal benefits of the transition in socialist countries have generated renewed debates since the late 1980s, which are intellectually enriched by developments in the new economic geography, new growth theory, economic sociology, institutional/evolutionary economic geography, and GIS. Thanks largely to the intensification of globalization and the uneven consequences of the recent global financial crisis, inequality has once again become a hotly debated topic among top world leaders, including those of the United Nations, World Bank and United States.

The geography of inequality has also drawn renewed scholarly interest, but the existing knowledge is fragmented and partial. This session intends to attract scholars with varied backgrounds to examine the dimensions, complexity, and dynamics of the geography of inequality from multiple perspectives.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Outcomes: income, social, health, education, digital, innovation, environmental inequalities, etc., and their interactive effects
  • Trajectory/Dynamics: Timing, effects of intergenerational inequality, levels of development
  • Scale: From global to local and everyday life, with an emphasis on the regional scale
  • Space/Place: Spatial association/agglomeration/clustering, core-periphery relations, uneven nature of inequality, space/place as agents etc.
  • Networks: Spatial relations, flows, interactions
  • Processes/Mechanisms: Globalization, liberalization, marketization, institutional change, decentralization, geography
  • Procedures/Policies: Role of institutions, policy effects and options, justice, planning
  • Methodology: ESDA, spatial regression, GWR, multilevel modeling, spatial Markov chain, spatial distribution dynamics, big data etc.


  • April 21-25, 2015


  • AAG Annual Meeting, Chicago, Ill.


  • Yehua Dennis Wei, Professor, Department of Geography and Institute of Public and International Affairs, University of Utah, wei@geog.utah.edu.
  • Sanjoy Chakravorty, Professor, Department of Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University, sanjoy@temple.edu.

Submission Procedure

  • Please submit your participation/registration fee and abstracts online through the AAG’s website (www.aag.org). We would appreciate it if you would send us your PIN and title at your earliest time, at least two weeks before the AAG official deadline, to give us time to finalize and register the sessions.

 More info at: 


Monique Abud

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

More Posts

Reinventing a model socialist steel town in the neoliberal economy

Pozniak, Kinga1 (2013) Reinventing a model socialist steel town in the neoliberal economy: the case of Nowa Huta, Poland. City & Society. 25 (1) pp.113-134. DOI: 10.1111/ciso.12009

This article examines how a former Polish industrial town reinscribes its past and reinvents its public image in the context of simultaneous political and economic changes. Nowa Huta was originally built as the country’s model socialist town. Then, following the collapse of the socialist government and the adoption of democratic and neoliberal economic reforms, it experienced both deindustrialization and political marginalization on account of its association with the previous regime. This article examines current initiatives aimed at revitalizing the town’s economy and public image. It argues that the process of reinventing and revitalizing Nowa Huta has many parallels with deindustrializing cities across the North Atlantic. At the same time, in Poland this process is additionally inflected by the country’s socialist legacy. The article thus aims to elucidate how processes such as deindustrialization, globalization and neoliberalism are worked out in concrete places and with relation to local politics and histories.

PDF (free access)

READ (free access)

  1. Kinga Pozniak is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.


Lebow, Katherine. (2013) Unfinished utopia : Nowa Huta, stalinism, and Polish society, 1949–56. Ithaca : Cornell university press. 256 p. ISBN 978-0-8014-5124-9




Monique Abud

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

More Posts