[New book] Developmentalist Cities? Interrogating Urban Developmentalism in East Asia, edited by Jamie Doucette and Bae-Gyoon Park

Colleagues and students interested in understanding the ‘developmentalist’ interpretation of urbanisation in East Asia would be delighted to see the this new volume, Developmentalist Cities? Interrogating Urban Developmentalism in East Asia, edited by Jamie Doucette (University of Manchester) and Bae-Gyoon Park (Seoul National University), published by Brill in November 2018.

I am pleased to receive an author copy of this new book just now, and look forward to browsing many interesting chapters in the volume. Many thanks to Jamie and Bae-Gyoon for kindly republishing my Urban Studies paper (co-authored with Soo-hyun Kim, now in the President’s Office in South Korea) in their volume, which in this volume is titled “The Developmental State, Speculative Urbanization and the Politics of Displacement in Gentrifying Seoul” (pp. 245-270). The original Urban Studies paper version can be found here.

Below is the brief description of the book as explained on the publisher’s web site for your information:

Developmentalist Cities addresses the missing urbanstory in research on East Asian developmentalism and the missing developmentalist story in studies of East Asian urbanization. It does so by promoting inter-disciplinary research into the subject of urban developmentalism: a term that editors Jamie Doucette and Bae-Gyoon Park use to highlight the particular nature of the urban as a site of and for developmentalist intervention. The contributors to this volume deepen this concept by examining the legacy of how Cold War and post-Cold War geopolitical economy, spaces of exception (from special zones to industrial districts), and diverse forms of expertise have helped produce urban space in East Asia. 

https://brill.com/view/title/34395

Urban Salon seminar: Why Detroit Matters at LSE, 9-Jan-2019

The first #UrbanSalon (http://theurbansalon.com) event in 2019 is to take place on 09 January 2019, Wed 4pm, featuring Loretta Lees (University of Leicester), Phil Hubbard (King’s College London) and Brian Doucet (University of Waterloo) to discuss Why #Detroit Matters.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/why-detroit-matters-decline-renewal-and-hope-in-a-divided-city-tickets-53947445261

Why Detroit Matters: Decline, Renewal and Hope in a Divided City

Hosted by the Urban Salon with the Department of Geography and Environment, LSE

Description

Detroit has come to symbolise deindustrialization and the challenges, and opportunities, it presents. As many cities struggle with urban decline, racial and ethnic tensions and the consequences of neoliberal governance and political fragmentation, Detroit’s relevance grows stronger. In this talk, Brian Doucet bridges academic and non-academic responses to this extreme example of a fractured and divided, post-industrial city. He critically assesses the two dominant narratives which have characterised Detroit: that of the city as a metonym for urban failure, and a new narrative of the comeback city. Through including the perspectives of visionary Detroiters who do not normally feature in academic, policy or political debates, Doucet’s work documents many visions of hope which offer genuine alternatives for an inclusive and just city. This talk will discuss the main findings of the edited book Why Detroit Matters, as well as Detroit’s relevance for cities around the world.

Chair: Prof Hyun Bang Shin (LSE)

Introduction: Prof Loretta Lees (Leicester)

Speaker: Dr Brian Doucet (University of Waterloo, Canada)

Discussant(s): Prof Phil Hubbard (KCL)

Urban Salon (@theurbansalon) is a London based seminar series aimed at scholars, artists, practitioners and others who are exploring urban experiences within an international and comparative frame.

#Detroit #urbansalon #urbanstudies #urbanplanning #london

My paper in the new volume titled Social Justice and the City (ed. Nik Heynen)

Happy to see the publication of this volume, which includes a paper of mine entitled “Urban movements and the genealogy of urban rights discourses: the case of urban protesters against redevelopment and displacement in Seoul, South Korea” previously published in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers (http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/84866/). The new edited volume is the republication of all the papers that previously formed the journal’s special issue on the same title. #urban #socialjustice #rights #redevelopment #displacement #korea #seoul

Heynen, N. (ed.) (2019) Social Justice and the City. Routledge

https://www.routledge.com/Social-Justice-and-the-City-1st-Edition/Heynen/p/book/9781138322745

CFP: RC21 Stream (S6) on The Urban Spectre of ‘Global China’ and Critical Reflections on its Spatiality

Happy to announce this call for papers for a stream that I am organizing with two of my excellent former PhD students. We have been developing this particular research, and would like to interact with colleagues who share similar interests and critical perspectives. Deadline: 20th January 2019.


RC21 CFP: S6 – The Urban Spectre of ‘Global China’ and Critical Reflections on its Spatiality

RC21, 18-21 September 2019, Delhi, India (https://rc21delhi2019.com)

Convenors

Professor Hyun Bang Shin, London School of Economics and Political Science (UK)
Dr Yimin Zhao, Renmin University of China (China)
Dr Sin Yee Koh, Monash University Malaysia (Malaysia)

Stream synopsis

The overseas expansion of China’s economic influence has recently been foregrounded in media reports and policy debates. The term ‘Global China’ has been widely adopted to depict the geopolitical dimension of this immense flow of capital. However, there is still a lack of attention to the urban dimension of ‘Global China’, especially regarding its impacts on the (re)imaginings and manifestations of urban futures – both within and beyond China.

In extant literature on Global China, two main features stand out. The first is the tendency to bound discussions of China’s role in global capital flows within Africa, and to theorise this role in terms of neo-colonialism. The second feature is the overt focus on the role of Chinese capital in industrial sectors – for example through investigations of labour conflicts (Giese 2013), labour regimes (Lee 2009, 2018), and workplace regimes (Fei et al. 2018). While there are increasing discussions on the spatiality of ‘Global China’, especially in relation to the ’Belt and Road’ (BRI) discourse, they are still closely linked to industrial sectors. 

In this stream, we seek to address the existing gaps identified above through a focus on the urban spectre of ‘Global China’. We welcome theoretical, methodological, and empirical contributions that address the interconnections and intersections between the rise of ‘Global China’ and ‘the urban’ (broadly defined). We aim to bring together papers that (1) critically examine the differentiated modes of speculative and spectacular urban production; (2) discuss the ways in which ‘the urban’ has been reconfigured by ‘Global China’; and (3) identify the theoretical and empirical implications for urban futures.

Submit your abstract

Please send your abstract of not more than 300 words to Hyun (h.b.shin@lse.ac.uk), Yimin (zhao.y@ruc.edu.cn) and Sin Yee (koh.sinyee@monash.edu) and CC’d to rc21delhi@gmail.com before January 20th, 2019. Please indicate the stream number (S6), the session title, and your last name in the subject line. For more details, please see the official instruction at: https://rc21delhi2019.com/index.php/call-for-abstracts/ 

Questions 

If you have any questions regarding this stream, please email Hyun (h.b.shin@lse.ac.uk), Yimin (zhao.y@ruc.edu.cn) and Sin Yee (koh.sinyee@monash.edu). 

Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre

I have been busying myself during the autumn term with an LSE centre called Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, which I hav begun directing since the beginning of August 2018. This newsletter in the tweet below sums up some of the activities of the Centre. 

NEWS

Prof Hyun Bang Shin appointed as LSE SEAC Director

Professor Hyun Bang Shin has commenced his directorship for SEAC on 01 August 2018. He is Professor of Geography and Urban Studies in the Department of Geography and Environment and has been working on the critical analysis of the political economy of urbanisation with particular attention to cities in Asian countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, China and more recently, Ecuador. Prof Shin’s biography is available here.

SEAC staff presented at the 9th East Asian Regional Conference on Alternative Geography

Professor Hyun Bang Shin (Centre Director) and Dr Do Young Oh (Centre Coordinator) have participated in the 9th East Asian Regional Conference on Alternative Geography (EARCAG) between 10 and 12 December to give papers on Vietnam and Singapore respectively. Professor Shin additionally organised a session on ‘Urban Spectacles and Social Injustice in the Global East’.

LSE SEAC Director met the Centre donors

SEAC Director Professor Hyun Bang Shin visited Singapore to meet Centre donors, Professor Saw Swee Hock at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute and Mr Arvind Khattar, and to participate in the alumni event hosted by the Singapore LSE Trust and the Alumni Association of Singapore on 13 November 2018.

Inter-Korea summit meeting and the peace process in the Korean peninsula #KoreaSummit #USNorthKorea

Upon the request of the LSE media team, I had a chance to elaborate on my own thoughts regarding the recent Inter-Korea summit meeting on 27 April, and also the role of the US. The series of videos were released on 30 April, and what I said then still seems to be relevant to the forthcoming North Korea-US summit meeting that is about to go ahead on 12 June. Here are the links to the interview clips:

LSE Thinks | Why have the leaders of North and South Korea started negotiations? https://youtu.be/J0eWPeeObZM

LSE Thinks | What has been the role of the US in peace negotiations between North and South Korea? https://youtu.be/8eQqxZ68oCw

Below is a written version of what I have tried to say in this series of video interviews.

  1. What has brought about this ‘renewed’ enthusiasm for negotiations between the two Koreas and the US?

It is important to understand how these negotiations have historically developed. The popular discourse seems to regard the current negotiation as very new. However, the two Koreas already had two summit meetings, once in 2000 between President Kim Dae-Jung and Kim Jeong-il, the father of the current leader of North Korea, and again in 2007 between President Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jeong-il.

While peaceful negotiations were already in place more than a decade ago, the process stopped during the last ten years between 2008 and 2017 when the two successive conservative governments of South Korea were reluctant to promote inter-Korea cooperation and at times hostile towards peaceful engagement.

The candle light revolution in South Korea in 2016 and 2017, praised by the world as the example of democracy, has led to the change of government, led by President Moon Jae-in, a human rights lawyer turned politician. And, the new South Korean government has been committing to the peaceful engagement with North Korea, and to mediating the relationship between North Korea and the US.

It is also important to highlight the fact that the general population in South Korea has been largely in support of peaceful negotiation with North Korea to resolve the military confrontation. Surveys indicate that a large majority of the South Korean population supported talks with North Korea rather than military resolution. This was despite the missile threats from the north and the development of nuclear programmes. The South Korean government and President Moon Jae-in’s firm position for ‘no war on the peninsular’ was strongly supported by the public opinion.

  1. What will be the implications of the negotiations for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula?

I think both Koreas are quite serious about the need of producing peaceful co-existence for the survival and development of North Korea. In particular, it is important to understand that the 2018 inter-Korea summit meeting took place within less than a year of South Korean president’s terms of office. And, he has another four years before his presidency comes to an end. There is ample momentum that can build up to produce positive outcomes. Denuclearisation is not just about demobilising North Korea’s nuclear programme. It is also about ending the military confrontation between South and North Koreas, who are technically at war, only suspended by the armistice signed in 1953 between North Korea and the United Nations force led by the US. Ending the war and signing a peace treaty has been the stated aim of both Korean governments, and I think there is a very good chance this is going to happen, now that all regional powers are expected to agree to this transition.

  1. What will be the implications of the negotiations for the people in the peninsula and the economy of the Korean peninsula?

All regional economies, and by extension the global economy, will definitely gain a lot from the anticipated transition from armistice to peace treaty. At the moment, nearly two million armed soldiers are confronting each other on the peninsular as of now, excluding the US force stationed in South Korea. The regional insecurity and uncertainty will reduce substantially, triggering more investment to arrive in the peninsula. South Korea has been struggling to create a new momentum for economic development, and the opening of the North Korean economy will provide the new avenue of economic growth. North Korea would emerge as an attractive destination for global investors.

It is also not just about the investment. There will be additional resources to be secured by reduced military spending. According to the World Bank data, in 2016, South Korea’s military expenditure amounted to 2.6% of its GDP, higher than the average for the world (2.2%) or for East Asia and the Pacific region (1.7%). This is equivalent to 10.4% of the South Korean central government expenditure (World, 8.1%). We do not have data for North Korea, but the ratio would certainly be much higher. Imagine the reduction of military spending that can be released for investment in social and physical infrastructure.

Obviously, there is much to learn from the neighbouring country, China, and from former East Germany, in terms of how to transform a planned economy into a market economy. The key concern is more about how the North Korean economic reform would proceed without widening social discrimination, economic injustice and regional inequalities. Overcoming the political and ideological differences is another big challenge. A peace treaty would provide time and space for this challenging process to be initiated.

Short essay: The Geographies of Gentrification in East Asia, contributed to the IIAS Newsletter Vol.79, 2018

The International Institute for Asian Studies based in Leiden, the Netherlands, publishes The Newsletter three times a year to report on current affairs in Asia and connect academics with wider audience. The news from Northeast Asia in the Spring 2018 edition covers gentrification in East Asian cities, and features four pieces as below. My piece provided an overview of the geographies of gentrification in the region, while three other pieces contributed by Yoshihiro Fujitsuka, Seon Young Lee and Qinran Yang discuss each country case. It was pleasure to work with the section editor, Ilhong Ko, to put the contributors together to make this happen.

News from Northeast Asia, The Newsletter Vol.79, Spring 2018
(direct link: https://iias.asia/the-newsletter/article/news-northeast-asia-nl79)

Editorial: Gentrification in East Asian cities by Ilhong Ko
Read more

The geographies of gentrification in East Asia by Hyun Bang Shin
Read more

Deregulation policy and gentrification in Chuo Ward, Tokyo by Yoshihiro Fujitsuka
Read more

Resisting gentrification in South Korea by Seon Young Lee
Read more

State, global urbanism, and gentrification in Chengdu by Qinran Yang
Read more

New chapter: “Studying global gentrifications”

Happy to see the publication of my chapter, “Studying Global Gentrifications”, invited for inclusion in this new volume edited by John Harrison and Michael Hoyler.

Click here to download the Word version of the chapter

This chapter builds on my ongoing enquiries into the planetary rise of gentrification and variegated geographies of gentrification (and therefore, gentrifications in plural rather than Gentrification with a capital ‘G’). The volume includes many other interesting chapters, so worth taking a look. For more details of the book, see here: https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/doing-global-urban-research/book252261

For citation: Shin, H.B. (2018) Studying global gentrifications, in: J. Harrison and M. Hoyler (eds.), Doing Global Urban Research. London: Sage, pp. 138-152.

In this chapter, I discuss some of the salient issues that are at the centre of planetary thinking of gentrification, examining how the inclusion of the urbanization experiences of non-usual suspects in the Global South helps us expand our horizon of gentrification research and reinterpret what has been learnt from the Global North. First, the chapter discusses how our understanding of displacement needs to actively take into consideration the temporality, spatial relations and subjectivity. Second, the chapter ascertains the importance of locating gentrification in broader urban processes and also in the context of uneven development. Third, the chapter argues that gentrification is to be treated as a political and ideological project of the state and the ruling class in addition to it being an economic project. The concluding section sums up the arguments and provides some reflections on what it means to do comparative research on global gentrifications from a planetary perspective.

 

New @CITYanalysis Special Feature on The Urban Process under Planetary Accumulation by Dispossession

Happy to see the new @CITYanalysis (Vol 22, No 1) special feature on The #Urban Process under #Planetary #Accumulation by #Dispossession, which I guest edited with Louis Moreno (Goldsmiths, University of London). Direct link to the issue here: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ccit20/22/1?nav=tocList

The special feature has a wonderful collection of contributors, who are Alex Loftus (on Planetary Concerns), Matthew Gandy (on Cities in Deep Time: Bio-diversity, metabolic rift, and the urban question), Nasser Abourahme (on Of Monsters and Boomerangs: Colonial returns in the late liberal city), Ilse Helbrecht and Francesca Weber-Newth (on Recovering the Politics of Planning: Developer contributions and the contemporary housing question), Elvin K. Wyly and Jatinder K. Dhillon (on Planetary Kantsaywhere: Cognitive capitalist universities and accumulation by cognitive dispossession), and Louis Moreno (on Always Crashing in the Same City: Real estate, psychic capital and planetary desire).

The introduction to the special feature is available open access and can be accessed here: https://doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2018.1442067

The special feature introduced herein benefits from the discussions held during the double sessions on The Urban Process under Planetary Accumulation by Dispossession at the 2016 annual conference of the American Association of Geographers in San Francisco.

Urban Studies journal launches a new initiative, Editors’ Featured Articles

Earlier this month, the Urban Studies journal has announced the introduction of a new initiative called Editor’s Featured Articles (https://www.urbanstudiesonline.com/editors-featured-articles/). According to the journal, the new initiative:

makes popular and significant articles that have been recently published available on an open access basis. In addition, selective papers that are not yet in print but connect with the subject matter of these articles in interesting ways will also be available on an open access basis via the website. Featured articles will be updated every quarter.

For this launch, six papers were selected as featured articles. Two of them are on gentrification in Seoul, and one of them is my own paper (with Soo-hyun Kim) entitled The Developmental State, Speculative Urbanisation and the Politics of Displacement in Gentrifying Seoul

Very pleased to have this paper included in this new initiative.