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Entrepreneurial managerialism: mobilisation of redistributive mechanisms for entrepreneurial redevelopment of Penghuqu in a Chinese third-front city

Jin, Yi (2018) Entrepreneurial managerialism: mobilisation of redistributive mechanisms for entrepreneurial redevelopment of Penghuqu in a Chinese third-front city. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis aims to investigate the change of urban governance in post-socialist China, as illustrated by the redevelopment of a shantytown or penghuqu neighbourhood established during the Third Front Construction (1964-1981) in Luzhou, a city in Western China. In the literature on Western cities, the change of urban governance in the neoliberal era has been described as a shift from managerialism towards entrepreneurialism. While this is often depicted as to entail a qualitative transformation of the state, we cannot regard such a change as a fundamental shift. As argued in this thesis, the state, however entrepreneurial it is, would still maintain some redistributive functions, rendering the mode of urban governance nowadays bearing the characteristics of managerialism and entrepreneurialism simultaneously. This would be evident in China. On the one hand, the local state in China, which depends heavily on a land-based accumulation system, is becoming more entrepreneurial. On the other hand, as China remains a “socialist state”, the legitimacy of the state is still founded partly upon accountability to its people, especially those disadvantaged ones. Drawing upon a series of ethnographic data collected from fieldwork between 2015 and 2017, this thesis will argue that entrepreneurialism and managerialism not only co-exist in the contemporary mode of urban governance in China, but intertwine in an integrated way, which may be termed “entrepreneurial managerialism”. The redevelopment of penghuqu, a national project aiming at improving the living conditions of disadvantaged urban residents with some degree of managerial features, has been strategically appropriated by the local state to serve its entrepreneurial vision. Furthermore, within the course of housing expropriation, the redistributive mechanism that could be dated back to the Maoist era with some modifications, have been mobilised to differentiate residents, and legitimise expropriation. The mode of urban governance that combines managerialism with entrepreneurialism also has significant implications for residents, shaping their minds and responses that bear such dual features.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Yi Jin
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Supervisor: Shin, Hyun Bang

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