China and Inner Asia
Session Abstract: The city (shi), county (xian), and village (cun) appear with such frequency in the scholarship, from topics in imperial history to contemporary urbanization, yet their meanings, as if transhistorically stable, rarely feature as a focus of inquiry. But how we understand these terms is constituted in historical discourses and modes of social thought, including those from the western political-economic tradition. In what ways should these and other place terms in China be assessed, and how might we better understand the constitution of their meanings in state ideology and territorial history? This panel problematizes the geographical meanings of city, county, and village to identify their dynamic meanings and reveal the significance of their spatial implications. Topics of analysis start from an inquiry into the political economy of the promulgation of the shi system in China during the Republican period. A challenge of the market-oriented social structure in analysis of villages in historical research will be followed. It then moves to the state-led articulation of the contemporary urban system, including new-type urbanization, the dynamism of the county and county-level district and its implications. The papers, based on in-depth empirical research and innovative territorial approaches, reveal the complexity and dynamism of spatiality in China and contribute to new understandings of China’s urbanization, spatial governance, and local society.
Paper Presenter: Wing-Shing Tang – Hong Kong Baptist University
Paper Presenter: Yu Gao – University of Technology Sydney
Paper Presenter: Carolyn Cartier – University of Technology Sydney
Co-author: De Hu – East China Normal University
Paper Presenter: Miguel H. Martinez – Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University