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The Political Economy of Urbanisation in China and Asia: Globalisation and Uneven Development

The course explores the contemporary dynamics of urbanisation in Asia, with special emphasis on cities in China and other East and Southeast Asian economies, which share the experiences of rapid urban development with strong state intervention in the context of condensed industrialisation. The course will benefit from the geographical advantage of taking place in Beijing and make use of a number of China case studies to examine the differences as well as similarities of urban development between Chinese and other Asian cities.

Applying interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives, the course encourages students to develop critical knowledge and comparative understanding of how urban space is transformed in different social, economic and political settings, and what socio-spatial implications are made in a differentiated way upon local populations.

Throughout the course, we ask whether the concepts and theories born out of the (post-)industrial Western urban experiences can be applicable to the understanding of urban Asia. We also ask what are the challenges that cities in East and Southeast Asia face, given its current development trajectory.

We do this by examining a set of carefully selected themes that address (a) the integration of Asian cities with the global economy, (2) the distinctive characteristics of Asia’s urban development,(3) the place-specificities of state intervention in forming urban growth strategies, and (4) socio-political implications of urbanisation processes in the region.

See student testimonial, Mingqian Liu

Full course outline

About the Instructor


Dr Hyun Bang Shin is an Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Studies in the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dr Hyun Bang Shin is a specialist in urban Asia. His research includes the critical analysis of the political economic dynamics of urban (re-)development and covers Asian urbanisation, urban politics, displacement and gentrification, the right to the city, and mega-events as urban spectacles.

He was the recipient of the STICERD/LSE Annual Fund New Researcher Award in 2009, which funded his two-year research (May 2009 - July 2011) on the socio-spatial and political implications of the 2010 Asian Summer Games in Guangzhou, China. In 2012, he organised workshops in London and Santiago de Chile, together with colleagues from the UK, Chile and Argentina, on Towards an Emerging Geography of Gentrification in the Global South. These workshops were part of the Urban Studies Seminar Series (2011-2012), funded by the Urban Studies Foundation and the Urban Studies journal.

He has co-edited Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement (Policy Press, 2015), co-authored Planetary Gentrification (Polity Press, 2016), and is currently working on a number of publication projects including a co-authored manuscript on critical discussions of urban housing in East Asia (Palgrave Macmillan) and a monograph entitled Making China Urban (for Routledge’s Asian Studies series).

For more information on Dr Hyun Bang Shin's research and publications, please see his personal website, his department profile or his entry on the LSE Experts directory.





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World-class LSE teaching

LSE Geography and Environment excels in the UK's nationwide assessment of research quality, impact and environment and in subject-based worldwide university ranking systems. The Research Excellence Framework results published in December 2014 show that LSE Geography and Environment ranked first overall in the UK for quality of published research output. 

The 2015 QS World University faculty rankings for Geography and Area Studies ranked the department No.2 in the world on the overall score, and No.1 for academic reputation. The Guardian’s university league tables 2016 also ranked the LSE No.1 for Geography and Environmental Studies.

On this two week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from a full-time Associate Professor from LSE’s department of Geography and Environment. GY201 course lecturer Dr Hyun Bang Shin teaches on a number of undergraduate and graduate modules, including Urban Development, Cities and Social Change in East Asia, Remaking China, and Urban Research Methods.