Essay for Open Democracy | Development and dissent in China’s ‘urban age’

Open Democracy based in the United Kingdom is running a new series on Cities in Conflict, which according to the series editors “seeks to examine cities as conceptualised, planned or contested sites of conflict, security or resistance.” The series includes a number of themes that range from ‘the insurgent city’, ‘cities of exception’ and ‘the city yet to come’ to ‘the disputed city’, ‘splintering cities’ and ‘cities of shock’. It bring together a number of critics who will undoubtedly provide an interesting set of critical perspectives on understanding contemporary cities in this ‘urban age’.

I have also been invited to contribute a piece, and my essay is online. Other essays on China include those from Jonathan Bach and Mary Ann O’Donnell on Shenzhen.

Development and Dissent in China’s ‘Urban Age’

HYUN BANG SHIN 25 February 2013 

The sight of houses standing alone in cleared construction sites has captured the media’s attention both in and outside of China in recent years. A recent case featured a five-storey house that stood in the middle of a newly constructed road in the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province. The house-owners were reportedly frustrated with the inadequate compensation they were offered by the local authority, and unlike their neighbours, refused to relocate. After sparking an internet sensation, the house was demolished in early December 2012: the owners eventually accepted compensation, reportedly around one third of what they claimed to be the original construction costs.  Continue reading

CFP: Field Research Method Lab – Addressing Field Research Constraints in China

(Please kindly note that a new LSE blog is launched based on the outcomes of the workshop: Field Research Method Lab at

Field Research Method Lab:
Addressing Field Research Constraints in China 

Hosted by the Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science

Funded by the LSE Teaching and Learning Centre 

Dates: 6-7 June 2013

Venues: 6 June in Graham Wallace Room, Old Building and 7 June in Room OLD.3.21 (For maps and directions, please visit

It is with pleasure to announce CFP for a workshop on ‘Addressing Field Research Constraints in China’, to be held at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The field research method workshop aims at bringing together both established and early career researchers working on China and sharing their hands-on experiences of addressing various constraints that they have encountered in the course of their fieldwork. It will be an opportunity to hold scholarly debates on what tends to remain in individual researcher’s private domain or between lines without getting a chance to be disseminated. How the field research constraints are addressed however often determines the quality of research outcomes.

Presenters are encouraged to reflect upon their past/present field research projects, and draw some lessons, both practical and academic, which can be shared with the audience. Below is a list of potential topics but you are very much welcome to suggest any that is related to conducting field research in China:

(1)    Practicalities associated with field research (e.g. issues of field access, collaboration with local partners, language barriers including dependence on translators);

(2)    Constraints on data collection (sampling, access to government sources, credibility and contamination of field data, etc.);

(3)    Relationship between the researcher and the researched (researcher’s positionality, power relations, insider-outsider dichotomy, boundary crossing, etc.);

(4)    Constraints on international collaboration;

(5)    Cultural encounters;

(6)    Government censorship and data access;

(7)    Research ethics

Each presenter is to contribute a short paper (about 2,000 words). Contributed papers are initially to be published on LSE Blogs. A collective publication in the format of an edited volume may also to be explored on the basis of these contributions. The workshop by nature is going to be very much interdisciplinary, with confirmed contributors coming from Anthropology, Gender Institute, Social Policy and Geography and Environment.

Participants wishing to present their thoughts are invited to submit a 150-word (max.) abstract and a short biography to Dr Hyun Shin ( by 4th April 2013. 

If you are interested in attending only, please also e-mail Dr Hyun Shin to reserve a place. No registration fees required but places are limited.

Book Review in Korean: Rebel Cities by David Harvey ??비드 하비? <저항? ?시>

I’ve been invited to contribute book reviews to a Korean daily newspaper called KyungHyang Daily. It’s going to be one book per month, and I presume it’s going to be also available on its online site. The first one I have chosen is David Harvey’s Rebel Cities (2012). The next one to come is Stephen Graham’s Cities under Siege (2011). The following is the original contribution in Korean that I sent to the newspaper.

3월부터 경향신문? 서?? 기고하게 ?었다. 한달? 한번 기고하게 ?었는?, 첫번째 책으로 선정한 것? ??비드 하비? <저항? ?시> (Rebel Cities). 다??는 Stephen Graham’s Cities under Siege (2011) – 아? 한글 번역 제목? 안정했다. 아래 글? 경향신문? 기고한 ?고. 3월 2??로 실릴 예정?다.

저항? ?시 (Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution), ??비드 하비

??비드 하비(현 뉴욕시립대 ?수)는 지리학?로 출발해 분과학문? 뛰어넘는 통찰력? 기반으로 오랫?안 비?? 관??서 공간? 정치경제학? 정립하는 ? 힘? ?아왔다최근 들어 만난 그는 부? 사회변?? 필요성과 방법론? 대해 고민하고 있었다그? 2012년 신작 <저항? ?시>는 ?러한 고민? 성과?다? 책?서 하비는 사회변?? 고민하는 세력?게 방향? 제시하고 있다.

Rebel_cities출발?? ?본? ?시화?는 관??서 본 ?본축?과 ?시화? ?존? 관계?다하비는 ?시화를 단지 ? ?구 대비 ?시?구? ?가 현?? 아닌?본축?? 중요 수단으로 ?해한다?본주? 발전과정?서 초래?는 과잉축? 위기? 주요 해소 수단으로? 부?산 ? ?종 기반시설? ?함한 고정?본공간? 대한 투?가 ?루어진다는 관??다? 과정? 필연?으로 ?거주민? 대한 수탈사회? 약?? 대한 통제와 억압? ?반하며 부? 소수 집중? 야기한다.

[저항? ?시]가 제기하는 근본 질문? 반?본? 광범위한 연대를 어떻게 구성해 낼 것?가?시사회운?? 기여와 역할? 무엇?가 등?다현대 ?본축?? 있어서는 ?산현장보다 ?시화 ?체가 ?욱 중요한 잉여 창출수단?므로 ?본주?? 대한 저항 역시 광범위한 ?시사회운?? 통해 ?루어져야 하며 노?운?? ?? 결합해야 한다고 하비는 얘기한다.

여기서 ?시? 대한 권리’ (Right to the City), 즉 ?시권? 중요성? 강조?다하비는 ?본주??서 ?시화는 다수? 대한 착취가 사회? 부? 소수 ??? 강화하는 쪽으로 ?뤄진다고 본다?시권? ?러한 착취와 불?등 구조를 타개하기 위한 ?시민? 권리주장?다주민?사? 역행하는 강제철거강제?주 등? 대한 반대? 아니?치솟는 집세? 위협받는 ?시민? 주거권?종 지배??올로기? 억압받는 성소수?열악한 환경? ?주노??비정규 노??들? ?간다운 삶? 대한 권리주장? ?함한다.

?같? 권리주장? 사회? 부? 재분배 요구를 수반하기 마련?다그러나하비는 단순한 부? 재분배만으로는 근본? 문제 해결? 힘들며사회? 부? ?산 ? 활용과정 전반? 대한 민주? 통제가 필요하다고 믿는다민주? 통제를 실현하기 위해서는 기존 변?운?먼저 노?운?? 역할 재정립? 필요하다지금까지 반?본주? 투??는 ?산현장 중심? 노?계급투?? 있어 왔다그러나사회? 잉여가치? ?산? ?산노? 현장? 아니? 부?산 투기고정?본 확장?? ??거주민 수탈 등 다양한 형태로 ?뤄지는 현대사회?서 노?계급투?? 여전히 사회변?운?? 중심? ?어야 한다는 것? 하비는 ?문? 표한다현대 ?본주?가 다양한 형태? 수탈?? 등? 통해 ?루어진다면반?본 운? 역시 ? 다양한 경로들? ?괄할 수 있어야 한다따?서 하비는 노?운?지역운? ? 시민운?? ?시? 연대와 ?? 기반한 저항 즉 반?본 ?시?명? 필요성? 제창한다.

하비? 주장? ?시화율? 90% ??? 우리나??서 ?본축?? ??해를 극복코? 하는 반?본주? 운?? 어떻게 전개?야 할 것?지 시사?? ?져준다비정규임시하청?? 기형?으로 비대해지고대기업? 우월? 지위가 강화? ?황?서 소규모 사업장비정규임시 ?용??주노?? 등과 관련? ?제들? ?넓게 설정하여시민권? 기초한 사회? 부? 재분배? 아니? 한층 구조?? 문제즉 ?본 축?? ??는 ?시화 ??해? 관심? 기울?며노?운?지역운?시민운?? 정치세력화만? 위한 ?시? ?는 사안별 연대?서 벗어나 ?시?? 반?본 연대를 ?뤄야 할 필요성 등? 그것?다.