Tag Archives: urban redevelopment

Reclaiming the Neighbourhood. Urban redevelopment, citizen activism, and conflicts of recognition in Guangzhou

Bettina Gransow, « Reclaiming the Neighbourhood. Urban redevelopment, citizen activism, and conflicts of recognition in Guangzhou », China Perspectives [Online], 2014/2 | 2014, Online since 01 June 2014, connection on 04 September 2014. URL : http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/6425

This study examines social interventions into the everyday life of residents, families, and communities during a redevelopment project in an old town neighbourhood of Guangzhou. It further analyses how citizen activism unfolds in response to these redevelopment interventions. To better understand contention over the renewal of an old town neighbourhood – beyond negotiation of compensation for economic losses – the study is structured by a recognition-theoretical model of social conflict following Axel Honneth and Nancy Fraser.

Miguel Elosua

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

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Dreaming in Chinese: accountable development

Barbara L. Bezdek (2012). Dreaming in Chinese: accountable development. Maryland journal of international law 27, 48-81.

Economic life in the PRC today is marked by rapid privatization, marketization, and urbanization. This triad of forces effects a profound restructuring of China’s urban spaces and is giving rise to new forms of private, voluntary associations of citizens such as neighborhood campaigns of resistance to urban redevelopment. Civil society theory ascribes to such organizations outside of state control, the potential to constrain government officials by enabling citizens to express their collective interests more effectively, and to resist government encroachment more powerfully than they otherwise could. Because resort to China’s courts has produced little protection for citizens’ formal legal rights in the event of forced demolition, relocation, and compensation, urban homeowners have resorted to extra-legal modes of resistance including protests, petitions, and confrontations – some of them deadly. This article assesses the potential to construct an ‘accountable development’ frame as a set of strategies to channel resentment and resistance into bargained-for development agreements – situations between the market and the state, neither anti-regimist nor stymied by the ‘turn from law.’


Monique Abud

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

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