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Yi Li – Building Chinese City-Regions Under State Entrepreneurialism

October 24, 2022 @ 8:30 pm 10:00 pm

Speaker: Yi Li, Associate Professor, School of Public Administration/National Research Center for Resettlement (NRCR), Hohai University

The past decade has witnessed a variety of city-regional projects across the world, such as the formulation of city-regional plans, the establishment of inter-regional organizations, and the construction of region-wide infrastructure. For some, city-regions are seen as a geopolitical project orchestrated from above by the national state in the global age of late capitalism. For others, city-regions are best approached from below, under the logic of territorial alliances or growth coalitions. However, geopolitical motivations and regional coalitions cannot alone fully explain the actual mechanism of city-regionalism in the Chinese context. Drawing on the governance framework of state entrepreneurialism, this paper distinguishes between the processes of the centrally orchestrated regional imaginary and local implementation through regional cooperation in the making of Chinese city-regions. It traces the latest round of regional integration in the Yangtze River Delta through three different practices: ascendant collaborative technological parks under inter-city partnerships, connecting regional infrastructure under regional associations, and the creation of a regional collaboration demonstration zone. Through these case studies, this paper aims to understand the processes of city-region building as well as its inherent contradictions in the Chinese context.

Yi Li is an associate professor at the School of Public Administration/National Research Center for Resettlement (NRCR) of Hohai University, Nanjing, China. Yi’s research interests lie in the formation and governance of city-regions. Her work has covered the three dominant mega city-regions in China, including the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, and Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei. She approaches different aspects of Chinese regional governance from planning, cooperation towards provision of infrastructures and housing.

Zoom link: https://harvard.zoom.us/j/96217779608


October 24, 2022
8:30 pm – 10:00 pm


Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies


Presented via Zoom

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