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Miguel Elosua’s thesis defense at ECUPL

Miguel Elosua thesis defense

Miguel Elosua, PhD student at the EHESS,  defended his PhD thesis in law at East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL) on 14 June 2014.

Jury membres

  • 段匡 (Duan Kuang) Fudan Daxue Jiaoshou
  • 彭诚信(Peng Chengxin) Jiaotong Daxue Jiaoshou
  • 傅鼎生 (Fu Dingsheng) Huadong Zhengfa Daxue Jiaoshou
  • 张驰 (Zhang Chi) Huadong Zhengfa Daxue Jiaoshou
  • 金可可 (Jin Keke) Huadong Zhengfa Daxue Jiaoshou

Thesis supervisor

  • 高富平 (Gao Fuping) Huadong Zhengfa Daxue Jiaoshou

Thesis title

Nongcun jiti tudi chengshihua de zhidu yanjiu – yi chengxiang tudi liyong yitihua wei shejiao) 农村集体土地城市化的制度研究——以城乡土地利用体制一体化为视角/Study on a system of urbanisation of the rural collective land – Rural and urban integration of the land use system in perspective.

Abstract in Chinese and English

在中国,自从共产党执政以来,土地权利一直就是一个核心问题。在1978年改革进程开始前,土地集体所有制下的土地分配利用一直是农村的主要经济基础,城市和农村之间的土地利用模式之间并不存在任何区别。然而,自1980年代以来,特别是20世纪90年 代,农村土地与城市土地制度开始出现分化,城乡差距也渐渐开始拉大。随着城市土地使用权的商业化流转,城市形成了一个蓬勃发展的房地产市场,极大地为经济 的稳健发展和城市居民的福利作出了贡献。然而,城市所形成的具有社会主义特色和准自由的土地市场,使得城乡土地二元利用体制不断得到深化:城市的土地转 让、出租和抵押,可以充分实现土地的内在价值,然而农村土地却被牢牢禁锢。中国共产党农村土地政策的背后,是共同富裕的理想。然而,中国经过三十多年的快 速经济发展,农村地区却是一直处于一种共同贫穷的境况。农村和城市之间的贫富差距随着经济的发展变得越来越明显。笔者认为这种城乡差距的主要根源之一在于 土地的产权制度即城乡土地二元利用体制。城乡土地二元利用体制已经到了不得不改革的时刻。实现农村的自主城市化发展的路径只能是完全彻底地突破城乡土地利 用二元体制,摒弃现有的以征收为主要方式的土地城市化,归还农村本应当享有的土地发展权,保障在土地城市化进程中农村土地不改变权属地实现商业化和市场 化,实现中国统筹城乡的快速城市化进程。最后,笔者采用比较的角度分析了西班牙产权制度,并且将西班牙土地制度中的有益部分引入中国农村土地自由流转的设 计方案之中。

In China, land rights have always been a central concern for the Chinese Communist Party since it came to power. Before the start of the reform process in 1978, the system of property for collective land was the foundation of the collective economy in rural areas. However, since the 1980s, and especially since the 1990s it has coexisted with an urban system where land has been progressively liberalised. In urban land there is a thriving market in real estate that has contributed greatly to the robustness of the economy and the welfare of urban residents. However, this also led to the increasingly less peaceful coexistence of two diametrically opposed systems of property: a system of collective ownership with socialist characteristics and a quasi free-market system where land can be transferred, leased, or used as collateral, exploiting its inherent value.

Behind the rural land policy of the CCP is the ideal of common prosperity. However, after more than thirty years of rapid economic development, a salient feature of China’s rural areas has been the common poverty of the farmer class as a whole. The economic gap between the rural and the urban has not ceased to increase. The author argues that one of the main causes of this urban-rural gap lies in the dual system of land property rights, which has proved to be flawed, as farmers have been deprived from exploiting the value of their most precious asset: land. Therefore, the author advocates reforming the dual property system, and more specifically, the land-use rights system concerning rural construction land. In order to carry out such a reform the author argues that allowing collectives to fully exercise their property rights, particularly land development rights, is the optimal solution. The author proposes that, during the process of land urbanisation, ownership of land does not change, allowing collectives to develop and market construction land, fostering the countryside’s self-urbanization as the best way to finance their development and to achieve urban-rural integration. Finally, the author uses a comparative perspective analysing the Spanish property rights system as a reference, eventually devising a plan for the liberalisation of the rural land market.

Aurélia Martin

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

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Chi-Han Ai’s thesis defense

Chi-Han Ai defended her thesis on 20 May 2014, which was entitled “The development of late arrival clusters in the integrated circuits industry: a study based on knowledge interactions – the cases of Hsinchu Scientific Park, Taïwan, and Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, Shanghai” (« Le développement de clusters arrivés tardivement dans l’industrie des circuits intégrés : une approche fondée sur les interactions des connaissances. Les cas du parc scientifique de Hsinchu, situé à Taïwan, et du parc de haute technologie de Zhangjiang, localisé à Shanghai»), and obtained the mention très honorable avec félicitations du jury. Read the summary of her thesis here (in French).1

Thesis supervisor

  •  François Gipouloux

Jury members


Guilhem Fabre, Xavier Richet, Ai Chi-han, François Gipouloux, Sébastien Lechevalier


  1. This article was translated by Aurélia Martin. []

Jacqueline Nivard

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

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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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