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The Urban Spectre of Global China

Mechanisms, Consequences, and Alternatives for Urban Futures

The Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre has been awarded a British Academy grant for its Tackling the UK's International Challenges programme. The 18-month project will examine four large-scale property development projects of Chinese capital, to question the ways in which the urban has been reconfigured by China’s global expansion.

Project Outline and Aims:

This project draws on methods of comparative urbanism and multi-sited ethnography, aiming to uncover the differentiated models of urban production in the Global China era and to generate new insights for inclusive approaches to urban space, nature and modernity. 

This international collaborative project critically examines the dynamics of urban political economy and contemporary urban living in a rapidly shifting geopolitical setting. By focusing on the local, national and global mechanisms and impacts of Chinese urban spectres, the project aims to deepen our understandings of interrelated urban future issues. 

Research will be conducted in London, Iskandar Malaysia, Beijing and Foshan.

PROJECT TEAM: 

BA Shin

Principal Investigator

Prof. Hyun Bang Shin, Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, and Professor of Geography and Urban Studies in the Department of Geography and Environment, LSE

Prof Shin is Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre (SEAC), and Professor of Geography and Urban Studies in the Department of Geography and Environment. Prof Shin’s research centres on the critical analysis of the political economy of urbanisation with particular attention to cities in Asian countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea and China. His research themes include the politics of displacement; gentrification; real estate speculation; the right to the city; mega-events as urban spectacles. His most recent project on circulating urbanism has also brought him to work on Ecuador.

Profile: http://www.lse.ac.uk/seac/people/shin-hyun-bang

Personal website: http://urbancommune.net

ba sin yee

Co-Investigator

Dr Sin Yee Koh, Senior Lecturer in Global Studies, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia

Dr Koh's research, positioned in migration studies and urban studies, seeks to understand the causes, processes, and consequences of structural and urban inequalities, and how people cope individually and collectively under such conditions. She has recently published on cities and the super-rich, the globalisation of real estate, property tourism, and the role of intermediaries in elite transnational mobilities.

Profile: https://www.monash.edu.my/sass/about/staff/academic/dr-koh-sin-yee 
Personal website: http://www.sinyeekoh.wordpress.com

BA yimin

Co-Investigator

Dr Yimin Zhao, Assistant Professor in Urban Planning and Management, School of Public Administration and Policy, Renmin University of China

Dr Zhao's research focuses on the socio-spatial processes of urban change, attending particularly to the role of the state in politico-economic dynamics of urban land and environment. Trained in Human Geography and Urban Studies at the LSE, he has successfully finished his previous project on Beijing’s green belts and is now further developing his research expertise on the urban and the state by investigating the nexus of urban infrastructure, land and the everyday life – both in and beyond East Asia.

Profile: http://en.spap.ruc.edu.cn/index.php?g=&m=Lingdao&a=index&id=141 
Personal website: https://readcities.com/

ba yi

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Dr Yi Jin, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, LSE

Dr Jin recently finished his PhD in the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science and now works in LSE’s Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre as a research assistant. Yi’s research focus on the political, economic and social dimensions of urban change, particularly in China. Yi is now working on the changing logic of urban governance underlying Chinese urban policies and the issue of urban materiality.

Profile: http://www.lse.ac.uk/geography-and-environment/people/phd-students/yi-jin

BA Lee

Project Advisor

Prof. Ching Kwan Lee, Professor of Sociology, UCLA

Prof. Lee's research interests include labor, political sociology, globalization, development, China, Hong Kong, global south and comparative ethnography. She is the author of three award-winning monographs on China’s turn to capitalism through the lens of labor: Gender and the South China Miracle: Two Worlds of Factory Women (1998), Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt (2007), and The Specter of Global China: Politics, Labor and Foreign Investment in Africa (2017). Her articles have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Theory and Society, New Left Review, the China Quarterly, and Journal of Asian Studies. Her most recent co-edited volumes include The Social Question in the 21st Century: a Global View (University of California Press, 2019) and Take Back Our Future: an Eventful Political Sociology of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement (Cornell University Press, 2019).

Profile: https://soc.ucla.edu/faculty/ching-kwan-lee 

BA pow

Project Advisor 

Dr Pow Choon-Piew, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore

Dr Pow obtained his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His research interests include critical geographies of the urban built environment; globalisation and urban politics in Asia. He is an editor of the Urban Geography journal and serves on the editorial board of journals including Geoforum, Social and Cultural Geography, Eurasian Geography and Economics, the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. He is a member of the Singapore Housing Development Board’s (HDB) Research Advisory Panel and an adjunct consultant for the Centre for Liveable Cities in Singapore.

Profile: http://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/geopowcp/