Urban Salon seminar on Cities of Spectacle and Mega-events, 23 February 2017, LSE

Urban Salon is an interdisciplinary London-based seminar series that I organise with a few other colleagues (see the web site here: http://theurbansalon.org). As part of the series, I am organising a seminar that examines the experiences of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, juxtaposed with the experiences of Asian mega-events (China, Korea and Japan). More details can be found below and on the above Urban Salon web site:


urban salon

Cities of Spectacle and Mega-events: Analysing the Symbolic Economy of Mega-events

Thursday 23 February 2017, 18.00 – 20.00
PAR.LG.03, Parish Building, London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE (view LSE Maps)

Brazil has recently hosted the two most important so-called mega-events, FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. As all governments before, Brazilian officials have justified the hosting as an “opportunity” to “promote” Brazilian “image” and enhance its “status” in the global space. The caution quotes indicate that all these terms are taken for granted, without the necessary analysis. Bearing that in mind, the aim of this presentation will be as follows:

1)      to understand the condition of production and circulation of images in the mega-events. It will be shown how FIFA and IOC have recently enhanced efforts to control the production and circulation of images and to expand its zone of control, both in terms of physical space and media;
2)      to recognise the specificity of the Brazilian experience focusing on the “image” of Brazil the government tried to propose and the kind of symbolic production it implied. It will be shown that this “image” has been thought as a specific kind, dictated by the marketing and branding;
3)      to understand the disputes around this “image” and the conditions of this dispute according to the media-space of mega-events.

Discussants are to respond to the above talk, reflecting upon their own research on mega-events in Brazil, China, Korea and Japan.


  • Dr Michel Nicolau (Speaker; UNICAMP, Brazil)
  • Dr Jaeho Kang (Discussant; Centre for Media Studies, SOAS)
  • Dr Tomoko Tamari (Discussant; Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • Dr Hyun Bang Shin (Chair and Discussant; Geography and Environment, LSE)

“Planetary Gentrification” authors-meet-Critics session at RGS-IBG annual conference 2016

PlanetaryGentrification-CoverVisualI am very much looking forward to this ‘authors-meet-critics’ session at this year’s RGS-IBG annual conference, featuring my co-authored book Planetary Gentrification.

The session is to be convened and chaired by Professor Ronan Paddision (University of Glasglow), and sees the contributions from three critics, Professor David Ley (The University of British Columbia), Dr Andy Merrifield and Dr Kate Maclean (Birkbeck, University of London). All three authors are also going to be present (Ernesto via Skype connection).

The session is sponsored by the journal Urban Studies, and is followed by a drink reception in the Drayson Room from 18.45.


235 Authors meet critics: Planetary gentrification
Convenor(s) Ronan Paddison (University of Glasgow, UK)
Chair(s) Ronan Paddison (University of Glasgow, UK)
Timetable Thursday 01 September 2016, Session 4 (16:50 – 18:30)
Room RGS-IBG Ondaatje Theatre
Session abstract At the beginning of the C21st proclamations rang out that gentrification had gone global, this book critically evaluates that assumption. Drawing on the ‘new’ comparative urbanism and writings on planetary urbanization the book argues that gentrification is one of the most significant and socially unjust processes affecting cities world-wide today. Looking beyond the usual gentrification suspects in Euro-America, towards ‘non-Western cities’ in the Global South and East, the authors undertake a much needed transurban learning underpinned by a critical political economy approach. The book shows that gentrification has unfolded at a planetary scale, but it has not assumed a North to South or West to East trajectory, it is much more complex than that. Rich with empirical detail, yet wide-ranging, Planetary Gentrification unhinges, unsettles, and provincializes Western notions of urban development. The book is invaluable to urban scholars interested in the Future of Cities and the production of a truly global urban studies, and to all those committed to social justice in cities. Sponsored by Urban Studies


EARCAG Conference Session, Dec 2016: Speculative Urbanisation and Resistant Politics in East Asia

Session Organiser:

  • Laam Hae (York University, Canada)
  • Hyun Bang Shin (London School of Economics and Political Science, UK)

Please reach the organiser at lhae@yorku.ca or h.b.shin@lse.ac.uk if you are interested to present in this session.

In the Western literature, post-industrialisation and global financialisation are identified as a main driver of the rise of property-based urban accumulation, resulting in speculation in the real estate sector. However, in East Asia, land and housing have been subject to rampant speculation during the last three decades of urbanisation and city-making, and not necessarily a result of post-industrialisation, although the region’s declining profitability of manufacturing industries would have contributed to the further rise of real estate speculation that guaranteed high returns on ‘investment’ (Haila, 1999, 2000; Shin; 2016; Shin and Kim, 2016). While East Asian real estate speculation can be understood broadly as social, economic and spatial manifestation of developmental urbanisation, it is also important to acknowledge unevenness in the ways in which such speculation has taken place among different countries in the region. That is, speculation over the urban built environment has been an embedded process in each country, moored in contexts and histories of local politics, economies and societies and expressed in locally specific ways.

In this regard, this session aims to bring together papers that can engage with the following (and other related) questions.

  • How has speculative urbanisation been unfolding in East Asian cities in locally specific ways?
  • What does speculative urbanisation signify in the changing political economy and emerging (re)formations of social structure including class, gender/race relations in each country?
  • How is the process of real estate speculation fraught with dispossession of people’s rights and displacement of the un/propertied?
  • In what ways have various mechanisms of social reproduction been shaped by the unfolding speculation?

We particularly welcome papers that discuss the transformative potential of various resistant politics that have emerged against speculative urbanisation in East Asia.

2nd Call for Papers for EARCAG in December 2016

Please see the message below from EARCAG conference secretariat. EARCAG stands for the East Asian Regional Conference in Alternative Geography, which brings together critical geographers around the world who work on the East Asian region. This time, the conference is to be held in Hong Kong in December 2016. I’m also planning to attend this, and it will be good to see more of my colleagues coming to Hong Kong.

===== forwarded message begins =====

-please circulate to those who may be interested, thank you; sorry for cross-posting-

The Department of Geography at Hong Kong Baptist University will organise the 8th meeting of the East Asian Regional Conference in Alternative Geography (EARCAG) on 6th-8th December 2016. EARCAG aims to establish an international network among alternative geographers in East Asia and to explore further perspectives to investigate local geographical issues in East Asia.

The main theme of this meeting is Radicalism in Theory and Practice. Attached please find the second call for papers. Please note that the deadline for abstract submissions is scheduled on 10th March 2016. Besides the themes of this conference, we welcome all sorts of relevant topics and area focuses.

To know more, please visit our homepage: http://geog.hkbu.edu.hk/earcag

Should you have any enquiries, please email us at earcag@hkbu.edu.hk

Best regards,
Conference Secretariat for
The 8th Meeting of East Asian Regional Conference in Alternative Geography



Hong Kong Island (Photographed by Hyun Bang Shin, 2010)

Invited talk at CKS SOAS | Developmental Urbanisation and the Genealogy of Urban Rights in South Korea

On 26 February 2016, I am giving an invited talk at the Centre of Korean Studies, SOAS. It will be interesting to present my on-going work in front of an audience that has primary interests in Korean affairs. More details about the talk can be found below. The Centre also hosts a number of interesting Korea-related seminars each year, so it’s worth bookmarking the page and check it out.



Developmental Urbanisation and the Genealogy of Urban Rights in South Korea

URL: https://www.soas.ac.uk/koreanstudies/events/seminars/26feb2016-developmental-urbanisation-and-the-genealogy-of-urban-rights-in-south-korea.html

Dr. Hyun Bang Shin

Date and Time: 26 February 2016, 5:15 – 7.00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Seminar

Series: CKS Seminar Programme


In this paper, I examine the case of urban protesters against forced eviction in Seoul from the 1960s, and discuss the evolving nature of rights claims that were put forward by protesters against urban redevelopment projects in times of condensed and highly speculative urbanisation in South Korea. I make use of the collection of protesters’ pamphlets compiled by an influential civic research organisation in Seoul, and of on- and off-line archives, photographic images of protests against eviction, and my own interviews with former and current housing activists and evictees in Seoul. By adopting a strategic-relational perspective that pays a particular attention to the struggles among socio-political actors, I aim to understand particular notions of urban rights adopted by protesters against eviction due to urban redevelopment projects, and scrutinise how their rights claims have evolved over time. Such an understanding is expected to shed light on enhancing our understanding on the question of displacement, urban rights, and urban social movements to bring about alternatives to speculative urbanisation in South Korea as well as other economies that share similar trajectories of urbanisation and accumulation.


Gentrification Seminars in Seoul, 2-22 December 2015, Seoul National University

In December 2015, I will be leading a series of seminars in Seoul on gentrification. This is to take place at Asia Centre, Seoul National University once a week and starting on 2 December. Gentrification has recently become a social and politically hot topic in Seoul, having seen frequent media coverage from late last year and politicians producing various policy proposals in recent weeks to address displacement of original residents and in particular small businesses who are being driven away due to hiking rents. All those in Seoul and interested in the topic are welcome. Please be reminded that the sessions will be run in Korean though.

Below is the seminar poster and the seminar introduction in Korean along with the weekly programme and readings:

Gentrification-WinterSchool-Programme Gentrification_WinterSchool-Cover

SSK?아시아 ?시연구단 겨울학? 

젠트리피케?션 발전주? ?시? 위기 분?과 대안전? 

지난해부터 언론? 통해서 젠트리피케?션 용어가 빈번하게 언급?고 있습니다. ?미롭게? 최근 한 대중가수가 공중파 예능프로그램?서 ? 용어를 언급한 사실? 한국사회?서 젠트리피케?션 현?? ?드러지게 나타나고 있?? 보여주는 척?입니다. ?처럼 대중? ?? ??서 젠트리피케?션 현?? 대한 관심? 확산?고 있지만, 정작 현?? 대한 기본?? 정?나 학술?? 토론 ? 연구는 아? 제대 로 진행?지 못하면서 용어? 사용과 현?? 대한 ?해? 있어서 혼란? 빚고 있습니다. ?러한 ?황 ?서 전지구? 젠트리피케?션 논?를 소개하고, 우리 사회? 젠트리피케?션? 검토하기 위해 본 겨 울학?를 기?하였습니다.

본 프로그램? 네 번? 모임으로 ?루어진다. 첫 번째 모임?서는 LSE 신현방 ?수가 젠트리피케?션 ? 대한 개론? 소개 ? 앞으로? 세미나 방향? 짚어?니다. 전지구? 젠트리피케?션? ?향과 전? ??는 주제로 강?와 토론? 펼칠 예정입니다.
? 번째 모임부터는 본격?으로 참??들? 젠트리피케?션? 대한 해외최신연구들? ?고, 토론하는 리딩(reading) 세미나 방?입니다. ? 번째 모임?서는 현재 젠트리피케?션 논??서 국가별, ?시별, 지역별로 어떤 차?와 공통?? 있는지를 살펴본다. 세 번째 모임?서는 기존? 서구?시 중심? 연구 ? ??를 받아들?면서? 탈서구?? 시??서 아시아 ?시 사례들? 살펴봅니다. ??으로 네 번째 모 임?서는 실천?, 정책? 측면?서 젠트리피케?션? 대한 대안? 혹? 대항?? 실천과 방향? 논하 는 것으로 ?국? 사례를 살펴보고, 한국 젠트리피케?션? 대한 짧? 발표를 들? 예정입니다.

세미나? ??거리는 대부분 ?문논문들??서 ?반?들?게는 발제? 대한 부담? 있? 수 있지만, 세미나? 주제가 현실 ??과 매우 밀접하게 결부?어 있는 만? 발제는 연구?, 대학?? 중심으로 하면서 참?? ?? 넓히고? 합니다.

본 겨울학?를 기?한 SSK ?아시아 ?시 연구단? “발전주? ?시화??는 화?를 잡고서 어떻게 한 국? ?시?서 국가 주?? ?시화 과정? 진행?었고, 민주화, 세계화, 신?유주?화, 경제위기? ?면 하여 ?시가 변형?었는지를 연구하고 있습니다. ?러한 문제?? 위? ?번 겨울학?는 보다 정?롭 고 ?용?? 탈발전주? ?시화로 나아가는 경로를 실천?으로 모색하려는 시?입니다. ? 프로그램? 취지와 젠트리피케?션 논?? 관심 있는 분들? 많? 참여를 기다립니다.


Tel. 02-880-2869

Email. karen1987@naver.com

Weekly Schedule and Reading List:

Week 1: Global Gentrifications. Lecture by Hyun Bang Shin (LSE)
2 December 2015, 3 pm (Room 303, Asia Center, SNU)

  • Smith, N. and Williams, P. (1986) Gentrification of the City. London: Unwind Hyman. Chapter by Neil Smith on “Gentrification, the frontier, and the restructuring of urban space?, and Chapter by Pete Marcuse on “Abandonment, gentrification, and displacement: the linkages in New York City?

Week 2: Gentrification from a Comparative Perspective
9 December 2015, 3 pm (Room 406, Asia Center, SNU)

  • Lees, L. (2012) The geography of gentrification: Thinking through comparative urbanism. 36(2): 155-171
  • Ley D. and Teo S.Y. (2014) Gentrification in Hong Kong? Epistemology vs. Ontology. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38(4): 1286-1303
  • Lees, L., Shin, H.B. and E. López-Morales. (2015) “Conclusion: global gentrifications? in Global Gentrifications: Uneven development and displacement. Policy Press. : 441-452.

Week 3: Gentrification outside the Global North
15 December 2015, 3 pm (Room 303, Asia Centre, SNU)

  • López-Morales E (2015) Gentrification in the global South. City 19(4): 564-73.
  • Ghertner A (2015) Why gentrification theory fails in ‘much of the world’. City 19(4): 552-63.
  • Shin, H.B. and Kim, S-H. (2015) The developmental state, speculative urbanisation and the politics of displacement in gentrifying Seoul. Urban Studies http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0042098014565745

Week 4Alternatives to Gentrification
22 December 2015, 3 pm (Room 303, Asia Center, SNU)


Wonderful line-up of speakers for #AAG2015 sessions: Contextualising Rights in Urban Protests against Displacement

Following up on my earlier post that announced the call for papers for organising sessions at the forthcoming annual conference of the Association of American Geographers in Chicago in April 2015 (for the original CFP, please click here), it is with great pleasure to see the wonderful line-up of speakers, both paper presenters and panel session members, in the three sessions that will take place next week. Many thanks to all the contributors for making these sessions ever more exciting and inspiring.


AAG Annual Conference 2015

The Politics of Desire and Despair: Contextualising Rights in Urban Protests against Displacement in Asia and Beyond

Urban Geography Specialty Group
Cultural Geography Specialty Group
China Specialty Group

Organiser and Chair
Hyun Bang Shin, London School of Economics and Political Science

Paper Session I

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 8:00 AM – 9:40 AM in Regency D, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level

The Tragedy of The Commons As a Cost of Rapid Urbanization in South Korea’s Late Industrialization Context.
Dong-Wan Gimm, Seoul National University, South Korea

Displacement as Marginalised Property Rights in Australia, Brazil and Chile: Toward a Conceptual Comparative Framework
Libby Porter, Monash University, Australia

Property rights and informality: street food sellers in Singapore and Helsinki compared
Anne Haila, University of Helsinki, Finland

Rightful Resistance in Relational Spacetime: A Case Study of Beijing’s Greenbelt
Yimin Zhao, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

The Fragmented Grassroots Resistance and the “Civilised” Capital Accumulation in “the City of Benevolence?
Zhao Zhang, University College Dublin, Ireland

Paper Session II
Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 10:00 AM – 11:40 AM in Regency D, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level

What rights do resettled farmers claim in the city? Assessing demands for sustainable livelihoods, assets and urban citizenship among rural labourers involuntarily relocated to Tianjin
Jiabao Sun, King’s College London, UK

The Fragile Right to the City: Homeownership and Speculative Urbanism in Taipei
Yi-ling Chen, University of Wyoming, USA and Hung-Ying Chen, Durham University

Bangkok’s street vendors and their rights to the city
Chaitawat Boonjubun, University of Helsinki, Finland

Whose right to what city? Voices from post-Gezi movement urban forums in Ankara, Turkey
Ceren Ergenç and Özlem Çelik, Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Fighting the right to human flourishing: top-down mode of planning challenged in Hong Kong
Mee-Kam Ng, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Panel Discussion
Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 1:20 PM – 3:00 PM in Regency D, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level

Hyun Bang Shin (Introducer), London School of Economics and Political Science

Anne Haila, University of Helsinki, Finland

George C.S. Lin, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Christian Schmid, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Sharad Chari, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Eric Clark, Lund University, Sweden

Urban Salon | An anatomy of resistance: the popular committees of the World Cup in Brazil

As part of the Urban Salon seminar series, I am organising a seminar to take place on Monday 23rd March 2015 at the LSE. The speaker, Christopher Gaffney, is going to discuss the actions of the Comitês Populares da Copa (CPC) or Popular Committees of the World Cup, which organised resistance movements and contested the hosting of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Brazil. Discussions are provided by Isaac Marrero-Guillamon (Goldsmiths College, University of London) and Mike Raco (UCL), who would build their responses on their previous studies of the London Olympic Games experiences.

Please see below for more details.

Next Urban Salon event:

An anatomy of resistance: the popular committees of the World Cup in Brazil

Christopher Gaffney (University of Zurich)

Venue: Graham Wallace Room, 5th Floor, Old Building, LSE (Located next to the Senior Common Room)

(See Maps and Directions: http://www.lse.ac.uk/mapsAndDirections/home.aspx)

Time: 5-7 pm, Monday 23rd March 2015

Abstract: This talk will explore the formation, composition and political actions of the Comitês Populares da Copa (CPC), Popular Committees of the World Cup, that formed in twelve Brazilian cities in anticipation of the 2014 World Cup. The CPC was the largest network of resistance movements ever assembled for a sports mega-event and contributed to the discourse of resistance and radical street actions that marked the 2013 FIFA Confederations´ Cup. Each of the twelve nuclei was independent of the others but communicated and coordinated through an umbrella organisation called the Articulação Nacional dos Comitês Populares da Copa (ANCoP), National Articulation of Popular Committees for the World Cup. 

Isaac Marrero-Guillamón (Goldsmiths, University of London), co-editor of The Art of Dissent: Adventures in London’s Olympic State;

Chair: Hyun Shin (LSE)

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

The organisers:

Pushpa Arabindoo (UCL), Monica Degen (Brunel), Michael Guggenheim (Goldsmiths), Loretta Lees (Leicester), Jenny Robinson (UCL). Hyun Shin (LSE)

CFP RC21 2015: (Re-)making Cities: the politics of scale in mega-projects in Asia and beyond

With apologies for any cross-posting,

Call for Abstracts

RC21 International Conference on The Ideal City: Between Myth and Reality

27-29 August 2015  |  Urbino, Italy


(Re-)making Cities: the politics of scale in mega-projects in Asia and beyond

STREAM F – Urban renewal

The globalisation of Asian economies has accompanied the emergence of urban real estate development, a key characteristic of late capitalism, as one of the main pillars of their economic expansion. The result has been speculative urbanisation, driven by desires of individual and/or corporate investors, central and/or local state elites, and domestic and/or transnational businesses. Their collective interests are reflected in the proliferation of state-led mega-projects to install iconic landmark buildings, new towns, and new CBDs in and outside existing urban centres, the experiences of which have been also increasingly inter-referenced within Asia.

In order to understand the above-mentioned processes of city (re-)making, it is important to overcome state-centric perspectives and adopt a relational approach that pays attention to inter-scalar dynamics and the politics of scale. For instance, the domination of Asian developmental states does not necessarily mean that the developmental ethos and visions, held in a particular period and space, had been uniform across factions in the state and capital. Such ethos and visions that led to the production of new towns and special zones of development would have been subject to geopolitical as well as domestic struggles.

This stream aims to scrutinise how the aspirations of Asian developmental states have been reflected in the course of (re-)making cities, and, at the same time, contested by non-state actors, civic organisations and local resents at various geographical scales. It invites contributions that critically examine why and how particular interests were represented, how they mobilised mega-projects and shaped cities ultimately in their own imagination, what roles local communities, nascent advocacy groups or popular struggles played in contesting the state-led mega-projects. Papers that attempt to compare the Asian experiences with those elsewhere are also welcomed.

Organizers: Hyun Bang Shin (London School of Economics and Political Science, UK); Bae-Gyoon Park (Seoul National University, KR); Dong-Wan Gimm (Seoul National University, KR).

Contacts: h.b.shin@lse.ac.ukgeopbg@snu.ac.krdw.gimm@gmail.com

Deadline January 31 2015

Abstracts should be sent by e-mail to abstracts@rc21.org and to the session organizers. Please consult the conference web site for more details.

2015 AAG CFP – The Politics of Desire and Despair: Contextualising Rights in Urban Protests against Displacement in Asia and Beyond

Call for Papers for a session that I am to organise in anticipation of the 2015 annual conference of the Association of American Geographers in Chicago. Please feel free to disseminate and share.

The Politics of Desire and Despair: Contextualising Rights in Urban Protests against Displacement in Asia and Beyond

Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, 21-25 April 2015, Chicago

Co-Sponsored by the Urban Geography Specialty Group, Cultural Geography Specialty Group, China Geography Specialty Group

Organiser: Hyun Bang Shin, London School of Economics and Political Science, h.b.shin@lse.ac.uk

Session Outline

The proposed session is a call for researchers who work on the rights of displacees due to forced eviction and involuntary relocation, attempting to provide space for discussions on how rights concepts emerging out of displacees’ protests can be contextualised in both historical and geographical terms. Here, the notion of rights would include, but not limited to, the right to survive, the right to housing, or the right to the city. The regional focus is Southeast and East Asia including China, where condensed urbanisation and speculative urbanism have resulted in developmental projects that aim to maximise the extraction of exchange value from the built environment, leading to mega-displacement. However, researchers working on other countries displaying comparable urban experiences (e.g. selective cities in Turkey, India, Brazil, Russia or South Africa) are also welcome to contribute.

Flattened former rural village in Guangzhou (Photograph by Hyun Bang Shin, 2010)

Flattened former rural village in Guangzhou (Photograph by Hyun Bang Shin, 2010)

The session is on the basis of an understanding that contemporary discussions on the Right to the City or urban inhabitants’ rights in general do not adequately capture the local historical and socio-political processes of how people have come to perceive the concept of rights in their struggles against the powerful. These limitations tend to restrict the contextual application of such concepts as the ‘right to the city’ to non-Western contexts. In late-industrialising Asian countries, it is particularly important to consider the role of the developmental and authoritarian state as well as its political alliance with particular societal actors (e.g. South Korean state’s alliance with large conglomerates from the 1960s or Singaporean state’s populist alliance in the aftermath of its independence) (Haila 2000; Park 1998). Legitimising the rule of the dominant class through the use of state apparatus requires co-opting the national population based on a particular set of state ideologies including nationalism, and this inevitably has repercussions on how protesters frame their demand for a certain set of rights vis-a-vis the hegemony of the state and capital. Continue reading