Urbanization as Environmental Change: Planning and Dispossession in Contemporary China
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Jia-Ching Chen, Assistant Professor of Global Studies, UC Santa Barbara - China's unprecedented urban growth has captured the attention of international media and scholars alike. However, contrary to widespread dystopian impressions of endless urban agglomeration, this talk examines the city within a broader context of environmental change and governance. Drawing upon ethnographic and archival research and spatial analysis, Professor Chen argues that China's urbanization poses unaccounted for social and environmental dilemmas. Moreover, Professor Chen argues that planned environmental change of this scale presents a puzzle about China’s current development transition. Namely, land dispossession is the single leading source of discontent in China today, and yet it is also the fundamental basis of national development policy. To examine this tension, the talk is structured around two perspectives. First, Professor Chen discusses the increasing policy emphasis on spatial planning for environmental governance, from individual villages to the national territory. Second, Professor Chen shows how the everyday experiences of dispossessed villagers reveals how environmental landscape change is itself a political tool of maintaining consent to party-state rule.
Video of full lecture with presentation slides edited into the video.
Cornell East Asia Program
East Asia Program, Cornell University
history; East Asia; China; urbanization; dispossession
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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