International Conference On Globalization, 

The State and Urban Transformation in China

HKBU, 15 - 17 December 2003



The Working Group on "Urban Transformation in China and Reorganization of the State in an Era of Globalization", Urban China Research Network, State University of New York at Albany
Centre for China Urban and Regional Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University
Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University 


Cover of the Conference Proceeding

Preliminary Program of the International Conference on Globalization, the State, and Urban Transformation in China


Conference Secretariat:

Centre for China Urban and Regional Studies

c/o Department of Geography
Hong Kong Baptist University
Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
Fax: (852) 3411-5990
Tele: (852) 3411-5061


The Conference:

This is an international conference on urban change and state reorganization in China. It welcomes scholars from all disciplinary backgrounds to submit abstracts for papers on contemporary approaches to theorizing urban change and state transformation informed by current debates on state theory, political economy of globalization, and the project to theorize scale relations. The conference will feature sessions devoted to assessing the suitability of these approaches and others for the Chinese case. Two keynote addresses from leading theorists in these fields will distinguish the two and half day conference program.

The reorganization of the state in contemporary China maps on to transformations in the urban administrative hierarchy at all scales, from the national center to provincial capitals, counties, and towns. The state has designated many new cities under reform, and they have been given new and more powers to decide local development. As they oversee transformation of the local space economy, these places also act as centers of articulation with larger scale national and global processes. Many existing cities have also enlarged, and administer former rural areas. So as China's economy transforms, the country is also in the process of urbanizing and reorganizing its urban administrative institutions, concerning housing, health services, and more - many of the former functions of the danwei (work unit). The conference is devoted to assessing interrelations among these dynamic topics and how to understand them theoretically. 

Specific topics of analysis include:
(i) theorizing Chinese urbanization, state power, and urban governance through changes in the urban administrative hierarchy; 
(ii) the role and power of large cities; and 
(iii) interrelations among cities of different sizes in the same region, such as the Pearl River and Yangzi River deltas.
In relation to the larger project to theorize scale relation - which has evolved largely in the context of research on Europe and North America - the conference serves as a forum for assessing the use of scale relations as a framework for understanding the dynamics of the urban administrative hierarchy and state power in China. How is scale relations useful for understanding territorial formation and spatial processes in China's political economy, past and present?

The empirical contexts of urban transformation and state reorganization, in new provincial-level power, municipal and district planning bureaus, development zones, housing, the danwei, and diverse related subjects, are equally welcome topics. Interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives will prevail as a basis for comparative discussion and cross-fertilization in theory building.


Registration Fee:

Registration fee is USD150, including the Conference printed materials, three lunches and two Conference dinner. 

Accommodation (Available at):

Ng Tor Tai International House, Hong Kong Baptist University, @ HKD330 (equivalent to USD43) per night per room. 





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