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Neighbourhood Governance in Urban China

Edited by Ngai-Ming Yip, City University of Hong Kong
As the economy and society of China has become more diversified, so have its urban neighbourhoods. The last decade has witnessed a surge in collective action by homeowners in China against the infringement of their rights. Research on neighbourhood governance is sparse and limited so this book fills a vital gap in the literature and understanding.
Extent: 224 pp
Hardback Price: £70.00 Web: £63.00
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 978 1 78100 023 6
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  • Asian Studies
  • Asian Geography
  • Asian Politics and Policy
  • Asian Urban and Regional Studies
  • Geography
  • Asian Geography
  • Political Geography and Geopolitics
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Asian Politics
  • Regulation and Governance
  • Political Geography and Geopolitics
  • Political Theory
  • Urban and Regional Studies
  • Urban Studies
As the economy and society of China has become more diversified, so have its urban neighbourhoods. The last decade has witnessed a surge in collective action by homeowners in China against the infringement of their rights. Research on neighbourhood governance is sparse and limited, so this book fills a vital gap in the literature and understanding.

The authors reveal how the Chinese authorities have themselves become increasingly sensitive to the potential risk of collective actions becoming destabilizing forces in urban arenas. This thought-provoking book looks at both the theoretical and empirical underpinning of the self-governance of homeowners and their collective action, as well as control mechanisms in neighbourhood governance. The book offers a window through which contending issues, such as changing state–society relations, rights-based social movements and the emergence of civil society, can be further explored.

Neighbourhood governance is a multifaceted concept that cuts across academic disciplines and intersects an array of policy areas. Therefore this book will find a wide audience amongst public and social policy academics, particularly those with an interest in urban studies, governance and Asian cities, as well as politics.
‘This book is timely, coming as it does at a time when interest in China’s urban growth remains high (for example, Ren, 2013), and neighbourhood/community governance is increasingly emphasised in many countries, particularly the UK (cf. the 2011 Localism Act). However, as Chapter 2 of the book, written by Benjamin Read, acknowl-edges, Western theories around neighbour-hood governance ‘were created against the backdrop of a pluralist model of societal organization’ (p. 30), with more-or-less independent grassroots activity. That model, certainly in recent years, is not directly trans-ferable to the Chinese context, so this book makes a valuable contribution to developing our knowledge of neighbourhood gover-nance in a specific setting.’
– John Sturzaker, Town Planning Review

‘The editor did a fine job of bringing together a rare collection of research works that demonstrate an excellent understanding of the overall climate of urban governance in China. The book is eloquently presented and should attract a wide audience among the public and social policy researchers interested in China.’
– Miao Zhang, Institutions and Economies

Contributors: W. Breitung, H. Chai, J. Chen, L. Chen, Y. Chen, Y. Gui, S. Guo, R. Huang, Y. Jiang, W. Ma, B.L. Read, X. Sun, J. Tang, J. Wang, Y.Wu, N.-M. Yip,
Contents

Preface

1. Introduction: Neighbourhood Governance in Context
Ngai-Ming Yip

PART I THEORETICAL UNDERPINNINGS
2. Theoretical Approaches to Neighbourhood Governance: Searching for Lost Treasure and Comparative Frameworks
Benjamin L. Read

3. Neighbourhood Governance and the Creation of Urban Commons in China
Limei Chen

PART II STATE SOCIETY INTERACTION AT THE GRASSROOTS
4. The Institutionalization of Neighbourhood Governance - Dilemma and Political Hurdles
Yong Gui and Weihong Ma

5. Are Residents’ Committees Able to Contain Homeowner Resistance? The Interaction between Residents’ Committees and Homeowners’ Associations
Ronggui Huang

6. Loyalist-activist Networks and Institutional Identification in Urban Neighbourhoods
Shengli Guo and Xiaoyi Sun

PART III INSTITUTIONAL SETUP OF HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATIONS
7. Institutional Innovations in Homeowner Self-governance: Case Study of Beijing
Youhong Chen

8. Homeowner Self-governance and its Sustainability: Case Study of A Residential Neighbourhood in Shenzhen
Juan Tang, Jianjun Wang and Hongxia Chan

PART IV AGENTS OF CHANGE IN THE EMERGING CIVIL SOCIETY
9. Differentiated Neighbourhood Governance in Transitional Urban China: Comparative Study of Two Housing Estates in Guangzhou
Werner Breitung

10. The Constructive Significance of Homeowners’ Rightful Protest in China
Ying Wu, and Junhua Chen

11. Altering the Rules: Homeowners’ Participation in Legislation
Yihong Jiang

Index