On 3rd December 2019, LSE Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, along with the Department of Geography and Environment, co-hosted the book launch for the 2019 book “Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cities and Housing in Asia” that I co-edited with Dr. Yi Ling Chen (Associate Professor of Global and Area Studies and Geography, University of Colorado Boulder) (see the earlier post here and book description here). Contributors and the book series editor presented their insights on Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea as well as broader housing challenges in Asia. Further details can be found here and also below.

Outline of the Book:

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 centred 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.


Dr Yi-Ling Chen 
“Re-occupy the state”: Social housing movement and the transformation of housing policies in Taiwan

Dr Chen is Associate Professor in the School of Politics, Public Affairs & International Studies, University of Wyoming. Dr Chen holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Policy Development from Rutgers University and a MSc from the Graduate Institute of Building and Planning, National Taiwan University. Her research interests include urban planning, urban movements and housing policies, economic and urban geography, gender and development geography.

Ms Didi Han 

What can a grassroots movement do about housing?

Ms Han is a PhD Candidate in Human Geography and Urban Studies, Department of Geography and Environment, LSE. She holds an MA in Communications. In her previous research, she looked at the co-housing movement in South Korea, how members struggled to create different practices of housing and relations in a financialized urban setting. Her current project is investigating urban communing movements in different cities of East Asia. 

Professor Richard Ronald (Discussant)

Prof. Ronald is Professor of Housing, Society and Space in the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development and at the Centre for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham in the UK. Among other functions, he is the editor of the International Journal of Housing Policy, coordinator of the Home Ownership and Globalization Working Group of the European Network for Housing Research and Co-editor of the Palgrave book series, ‘The Contemporary City’.

Dr Hoai Anh Tran 
Neoliberal Urbanism Meets Socialist Modernism

Dr Tran is Associate Professor in Urban Studies at the University of Malmo, and is responsible for the bachelor program Urban Development and Planning. Her researches deals with the link between urbanisation, urban spaces production, urban policies and social justice from the perspective of the global south with a focus on Vietnam. Her research is closely connected to the body of research on the contradictory nature of contemporary urban changes in the global South, and how various form of power finds modes of material expressions in urban forms.

Prof. Hyun Bang Shin (Chair)

(Left to right) Didi Han, Richard Ronald, Yi-Ling Chen and Hoai Anh Tran