Tag Archives: public goods

Managing Migrant Contestation. Land appropriation, intermediate agency, and regulated space in Shenzhen

Edmund W. Cheng. Managing Migrant Contestation. Land appropriation, intermediate agency, and regulated space in Shenzhen. Published in China Perspectives 2014/2: P.27.

This study considers the conditions under which China’s massive internal migration and urbanisation have resulted in relatively governed, less contentious, and yet fragile migrant enclaves. Shenzhen, the hub for rural-urban migration and a pioneer of market reform, is chosen to illustrate the dynamics of spatial contestation in China’s sunbelt. This paper first correlates the socialist land appropriation mechanisms to the making of the factory dormitory and urban village as dominant forms of migrant accommodation. It then explains how and why overt contention has been managed by certain intermediate agencies in the urban villages that have not only provided public goods but also regulated social order. It ends with an evaluation of the fragility of urban villages, which tend to facilitate urban redevelopment at the expense of migrants’ living space. The interplay between socialist institutions and market forces has thus ensured that migrant enclaves are regulated and integrated into the formal city.






Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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China’s future and scarcity

Ma, Damien and Adams, William (2013). In line behind a billion people : how scarcity will define China’s ascent in the next decade. Pearson Education, FT Press, 352 p. ISBN: 978-0-13-313389-9.

Within a decade, China will have the world’s largest economy. In this book, two China experts turn the conventional wisdom on its head, showing why China’s economic growth will constrain rather than empower it. Political analyst Damien Ma and global economist William Adams reveal why, having 35 years of ferocious economic growth, China’s future will be shaped by the same fundamental reality that has shaped it for millennia: scarcity. Ma and Adams drill deep into Chinese society, showing all the scarcities that will limit its power and progress. Beyond scarcities of natural resources and public goods, they illuminate China’s persistent poverties of individual freedoms, cultural appeal, and ideological legitimacy — and the corrosive loss of values and beliefs amongst a growing middle class shackled by a parochial and inflexible political system.

Download sample pages (Table of contents, Introduction and Index)

Monique Abud

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

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