Republication of my Urban Spectacles paper in Alternative Sud

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arton4063I am pleased to see the printed version of a new special issue from Alternative Sud, a quarterly publication by CETRI based in Belgium. The special issue on Sport and Globalisation includes a reprinted paper of mine, “Spectacles urbains, méga-événements sportifs et inégalités en Chine”. This was originally published in the journal City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action (to view the original paper, please go to the journal web site or click here). Many thanks to the editorial team at Alternative Sud for bringing the papers together and thinking of me for inclusion in the special issue. Also thanks a lot to the management team at Routledge for kindly supporting the reprinting.

Abstract in French: En Chine, la promotion de grands spectacles urbains et de méga-événements sportifs repose sur un discours de « société harmonieuse ». La propagande nationaliste qui les accompagne vise à créer un sentiment d’unité et à apaiser le mécontentement sociopolitique provoqué par les inégalités, les tensions ethniques et la fracture entre les mondes urbain et rural. Une stratégie de déplacement des problèmes plutôt que de résolution de ceux-ci.

More details about the CETRI is as follows:

The Tricontinental Centre (CETRI), is a Non-Governmental Organisation founded in 1976 and based in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium). CETRI is committed to study, publications and training in issues of development and North-South relations. Its main aim is to provide a transmission channel for the voices of the South and contribute to a critical examination of the dominant conceptions and practices of development in the era of neo-liberal globalisation. Emphasis is on understanding and discussing the role of social and political actors in the South in their struggle for social, political, cultural and ecological rights.

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Journal article (2014): Urban spatial restructuring, event-led development and scalar politics

14.coverA recent paper of mine on examining Guangzhou’s use of the Asian Games has just been published by the journal Urban Studies. Entitled “Urban Spatial Restructuring, Event-led Development and Scalar Politics”, it examines the use of the 2010 Summer Asian Games by Guangzhou in China as a means to justify its developmental vision that aimed at raising the city’s global profile and urban accumulation. Please click here to go directly to the journal page to download the paper.

Below is an abstract. Please e-mail me if you do not have access to the journal and I’ll be happy to share the paper. Other papers that have resulted from my project on Guangzhou can be found on this link (e.g. journal papers from Antipode and City).

Abstract of “Urban Spatial Restructuring, Event-led Development and Scalar Politics”

This paper uses Guangzhou’s experience of hosting the 2010 Asian Games to illustrate Guangzhou’s engagement with scalar politics. This includes concurrent processes of intra-regional restructuring to position Guangzhou as a central city in south China and a ‘negotiated scale-jump’ to connect with the world under conditions negotiated in part with the overarching strong central state, testing the limit of Guangzhou’s geopolitical expansion. Guangzhou’s attempts were aided further by using the Asian Games as a vehicle for addressing condensed urban spatial restructuring to enhance its own production/accumulation capacities, and for facilitating urban redevelopment projects to achieve a ‘global’ appearance and exploit the city’s real estate development potential. Guangzhou’s experience of hosting the Games provides important lessons for expanding our understanding of how regional cities may pursue their development goals under the strong central state and how event-led development contributes to this.

[In Chinese; thanks to Yimin Zhao for translation]

中文标题:“城市空间?构?赛会引领型?展和尺度政治?

本文借助广州举办2010年亚?会的?历分?了这座城市的尺度政治问题。文章首先分?了区域内部?时?生的多?空间?构过程,这些过程的共?目的是?将广州打造?为??地区的中心城市。??本文进一步探讨了广州为与世界关?而进行的”??商性尺度跳跃”,并借助这一跳跃分?了广州进行地缘政治扩张的?度,因为该行为至少在部分程度上?视为与全能型强中央政?妥??的产物。广州的上述?试得到了亚?会的进一步推进:一方?,亚?会使得广州有机会进一步强调通过城市空间?构增进其自身的生产?积累能力;?一方?,亚?会帮助广州更便?地通过城市?开?工程构建所谓”全?形象”,并进而充分?掘城市房地产业?展的潜力。研究广州举办亚?会的?历能深化我们对以下两个问题的?解:一是在强中央政?的管辖下,区域性城市如何追寻自身的?展目标;二是大型赛会引领型的?展策略对于区域性城市的这一抱负是?以?如何?挥作用。

Below is one of the images used in the paper, which shows how the new central business district (Pearl River New Town or zhujiang xincheng ?江新城) has changed substantially during the ten years prior to the Games opening.

Transformation of the Pearl River New Town, 2000 - 2010

Transformation of the Pearl River New Town, 2000 – 2010

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Proposal accepted for a journal special issue on Accumulation, State Legitimacy and Cities of Spectacle in ‘Emerging’ Economies

Earlier last week, it was a great pleasure to receive the final acceptance letter from the special features editor of the Urban Geography journal with regard to a proposal to pursue a special issue on Accumulation, State Legitimacy and Cities of Spectacle in ‘Emerging’ Economies. I will be guest editing this with Andy Thornley in my department. The special issue aims to bring together original research papers to examine  mega-events in some of the major emerging economies that have hosted, or are hosting, major international mega-events. The special issue is one of the endeavours that emanate from the earlier session organisation at the RGS-IBG annual conference in the summer of 2013.

I am very happy to see the great line-up of colleagues from around the world. These include Anne-Marie Broudehoux (University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada), Elena Trubina (Ural Federation University, Russia), Xun Li, Yi Liu and Jigang Bao (Sun Yat-sen University, China) and Astrid Wood (University College London, UK), who will be discussing the experiences of Rio de Janeiro, Sochi, Guangzhou and Cape Town respectively.

In order to build upon existing scholarship discussing the role of mega-events as societal spectacles, contributors are purposefully brought together to create a dialogue about the use of mega-events as a means to address both accumulation needs and social stability. Consideration is given to the historicity of urban development and political economic contexts within each host nation. Contributors are asked to pay attention in particular to the issues of state legitimacy and governance in their emerging country context and to tease out differences with more developed countries.

Papers are aimed to be submitted to the journal for peer review from around May 2014. More updates to follow as progress is made.

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Selected papers on Capitalism in China – free to download until the end of 2013

Taylor & Francis online has put together a selection of papers on China’s Capitalism. The topics range from economics and finance to management and development studies. In total, 15 papers published between 2007 and 2013 are listed on its themed page, and are free to download until the end of December 2013.

URL: http://explore.tandfonline.com/page/bes/china-the-economic-powerhouse/china-capitalism

The selection has picked up my own paper, Unequal Cities of Spectacle and Mega-events in China, which discusses China’s key developmental issues (accumulation and social stability) through the lens of mega-events.

Other interesting papers include: Continue reading

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