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10 MAY 2024 (FRI) 15:00-16:30

China Development Studies Elite Seminar Series

Governing China’s Great Urban Transformation: From “Decentralization of Governance” to “Governance of Decentralization”



Date: 10 MAY 2024 (Friday)

Time: 15:00-16:30 (HKT)

Mode: Hybrid

Venue: CLL, Department of Geography, 10.10, 10/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Via Zoom: Zoom link will be provided upon successful registration


 

Abstract:

Between the 1980s and the early 2000s, the Chinese government’s efforts to promote local economic development and decentralized decision-making resulted in significant disparities in wealth accumulation at local levels. The specific development processes and outcomes in different periurban areas of China show that fiscal and administrative decentralization did not lead to a consistent pattern of local government involvement in socio-economic development. However, these varying governance outcomes do not indicate a decrease in the central state’s authority over local government. Through an empirical study of the interplay between the decentralization of state power and growing income inequality in over 40 villages in Guangzhou, this presentation illustrates how decentralization has led to horizontal fragmentation of the governance structure at the village level, rather than vertical fragmentation of the bureaucratic governance system. As a result of this horizontal fragmentation, the power of informal clan-based institutions has been weakened, rather than that of the state.


Dr. Ivy WONG

Associate Professor, Department of Building and Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Dr Ivy Siu Wai Wong, an associate Professor at the Department of Building and Real Estate at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, received her PhD in Planning from the University of British Columbia. Her academic research focuses on urban-rural planning and governance, addressing issues such as urban-rural planning for sustainable development, rural property rights reforms for social equities, participatory community planning for capacity building, and countryside conservation. These issues are of great significance not only for China but also for other regions and nations undergoing urban transitions. Her research findings have been widely published in international academic journals, including Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, The China Quarterly, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Journal of Urban History, Landscape and Urban Planning, Land Use Policy, and Urban Studies.

 

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