Urban Governance in the People's Republic of China
|BIRMINGHAM; CHALLENGES; CORPORATISM; ENTREPRENEURIAL CITY; Geography; GUANGZHOU; LOCAL-GOVERNMENTS; POLITICS; SHANGHAI; STATE; STRATEGIES
|FRANZ STEINER VERLAG GMBH
Multiple understandings and the inflationary use of the term governance are threatening the value of governance as an analytical concept. However, as will be elaborated upon, an analytical governance perspective seems to be particularly valuable for studies in comparative urban research. This article reviews the discussions on governance at the intersection of political science and geography as well as the changing forms or modes of urban governance as described in European and North American contexts. To extend the scope of the analytical governance framework, an attempt is made to link the discussion on comparative urban governance in Western cities with that on the transformation of the local state and urban politics in China. Thereby, changing modes of urban governance are being identified in Chinese cities in transition. While distinctive ``Chinese characteristics'' are often stressed by area specialists, it is argued that the application of an analytical urban governance perspective may both generate more generalizable results and improve the mutual understanding of the empirically rich branch of urban studies in China on the one hand, and the more theoretically informed approaches of international urban research on the other.
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