Forthcoming book, Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cities and Housing in Asia (Palgrave Macmillan)

Chen, Y.-L. and Shin, H.B. (eds.) (in press) Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cities and Housing in Asia. Palgrave Macmillan

Above is an edited volume that I have been working on as co-editor is now at the production stage, scheduled to appear in July 2019. The other co-editor is Dr Yi-Ling Chen at the University of Wyoming. Below is a summary outline of the book as displayed on the publisher’s web site:

Considering Asian cities ranging from Taipei, Hong Kong and Bangkok to Hanoi, Nanjing and Seoul, this collection discusses the socio-political processes of how neoliberalization entwines with local political economies and legacies of ‘developmental’ or ‘socialist’ statism to produce urban contestations centered on housing. The book takes housing as a key entry point, given its prime position in the making of social and economic policies as well as the political legitimacy of Asian states. It examines urban policies related to housing in Asian economies in order to explore their continuing alterations and mutations, as they come into conflict and coalesce with neoliberal policies. In discussing the experience of each city, it takes into consideration the variegated relations between the state, the market and the society, and explores how the global pressure of neoliberalization has manifested in each country and has influenced the shaping of national housing questions.

The book includes nine chapters in total, covering Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City, Nanjing, Bangkok, Seoul and Hong Kong. The table of contents is as follows:


Chapter 1. Centering Housing Questions in Asian Cities (Yi-Ling Chen, The University of Wyoming; Hyun Bang Shin, London School of Economics and Political Science)

Chapter 2. ‘Re-occupying the State’: Social Housing Movement and the Transformation of Housing Policies in Taiwan (Yi-Ling Chen, The University of Wyoming)

Chapter 3. Displacement by Neoliberalism: Addressing the Housing Crisis of Hong Kong in the Restructuring Pearl River Delta Region (Shu-Mei Huang, National Taiwan University)

Chapter 4. When Neoliberalization meets Clientelism: Housing Policies for Low- and Middle-Income Housing in Bangkok (Thammarat Marohabutr, Mahidol University)

Chapter 5. Neoliberal Urbanism Meets Socialist Modernism: Vietnam’s Post Reform Housing Policies and the New Urban Zones of Hanoi (Hoai Anh Tran, Malmö University; Ngai-Ming Yip, City University of Hong Kong)

Chapter 6. Beyond Property Rights and Displacement: China’s Neoliberal Transformation and Housing Inequalities (Zhao Zhang, Zhejiang University of Technology)

Chapter 7. Development and Inequality in Urban China: The Privatization of Homeownership and the Transformation of Everyday Practice (Sarah Tynen, University of Colorado Boulder)

Chapter 8. Weaving the Common in the Financialized City: A Case of Urban Cohousing Experience in South Korea (Didi K. Han, London School of Economics and Political Science)

Chapter 9. Contesting Property Hegemony in Asian Cities (Hyun Bang Shin, London School of Economics and Political Science)


As is expressed in the book’s collective acknowledgments, the book has become “a product of an enduring process, involving negotiations with academic and family responsibilities that have spanned across three continents.” I am glad to see it coming to its material presence. Many thanks are owed to all the chapter contributors and other colleagues who provided insights and inspirations.

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