Arriving soon: Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cities and Housing in Asia

I have posted earlier (see here) about a new forthcoming book from @Palgrave_, Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cities and Housing in Asia, and it is my pleasure to confirm that the book proof has been finalised and it’s ready for the final production. The book’s cover image is also finalised and is attached here as follows. The image shows an aerial view of Taipei City – the selection of Taipei City was a conscious decision, as the image depicts a mix of diverse urban forms as well as the juxtaposition of both nature and the second nature (the built environment) in an urban space that presents a palimpsest of layers of social relations and histories of contestations. All these speak to the main themes of the book.

What is the book about?

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.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Centering Housing Questions in Asian Cities (Yi-Ling Chen and Hyun Bang Shin)
  • Chapter 2. ‘Re-occupying the State’: Social Housing Movement and the Transformation of Housing Policies in Taiwan (Yi-Ling Chen)
  • Chapter 3. Displacement by Neoliberalism: Addressing the Housing Crisis of Hong Kong in the Restructuring of Pearl River Delta Region (Shu-Mei Huang)
  • Chapter 4. When Neoliberalization Meets Clientelism: Housing Policies for Low- and Middle-Income Housing in Bangkok (Thammarat Marohabutr)
  • Chapter 5. Neoliberal Urbanism Meets Socialist Modernism: Vietnam’s Post-Reform Housing Policies and the New Urban Zones of Hanoi (Hoai Anh Tran and Ngai-Ming Yip)
  • Chapter 6. Beyond Property Rights and Displacement: China’s Neoliberal Transformation and Housing Inequalities (Zhao Zhang)
  • Chapter 7. Development and Inequality in Urban China: The Privatization of Homeownership and the Transformation of Everyday Practice (Sarah Tynen)
  • Chapter 8. Weaving the Common in the Financialized City: A Case of Urban Cohousing Experience in South Korea (Didi K. Han)
  • Chapter 9. Contesting Property Hegemony in Asian Cities (Hyun Bang Shin)

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 ( 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

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 (


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 (, Yimin ( and Sin Yee ( and CC’d to 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: 


If you have any questions regarding this stream, please email Hyun (, Yimin ( and Sin Yee ( 

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. 


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.

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:

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 @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:

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:

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 ( 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.

신간 <안티 젠트리피케이션, 무엇을 할 것인가> 기념 행사 안내

2015년 12월에 구상, 작년 초가을 본격 추진했던 중요한 프로젝트 하나를 이번 한국 방문 기간에 맞추어 마무리합니다. 새로 나오는 <안티 젠트리피케이션, 무엇을 할 것인가>를 기념하기 위해 저자들을 모시고 두 번의 행사를 갖습니다. 이번 출장 동안 미처 찾아뵙지 못하고 연락도 제대로 못드린 점 너그러이 이해해주시길 부탁드리며, 시간 되시는 분들은 두 행사장 모두 또는 한 군데에서 뵐 수 있으면 좋겠습니다. 주변에 널리 알려주시길 부탁드리며, 책에도 관심 가져 주시길 부탁드립니다. 목차도 아래에 첨부합니다.

I am organising a book talk and a book symposium to mark the publication of an edited volume (in Korean), which I have been working on since last year. It’s entitled <Anti Gentrification: What is to be done>.

<안티 젠트리피케이션, 무엇을 할 것인가> (신현방 엮음; 도서출판 동녘)

11월 7일 Book Talk

장소: 테이크아웃드로잉 (서울시 용산구 녹사평대로 244)
시간: 7시
패널: 신현방, 달여리, 이채관, 이영범, 전은호, 최소연

11월 8일 Book Symposium

장소: 경희대학교 서울캠퍼스 경영대학 대강의실 (오비스홀 지상1층 111호)
시간: 3시
사회: 지상현
패널: 신현방, 김상철, 신현준, 이강훈, 정용택, 조성찬, 최소연
안티젠트리피케이션-포스터-웹용2 안티젠트리피케이션-포스터-웹용1

<안티 젠트리피케이션, 무엇을 할 것인가>

(신현방 엮음; 도서출판 동녘)
1장 안티 젠트리피케이션, 무엇을 할 것인가_신현방
2장 문제는강제퇴거:인간의존엄을박탈하는폭력_미류
3장  재美난학교:재난현장이학교입니다_최소연
4장  영욕의도시,홍대앞:지킬것인가,불태울것인가_이채관
5장  미술생산자,신자유주의의’미생’?: 잘려나가는 서울에서 예술가와 젠트리피케이션_신현준
6장 젠트리피케이션, 그 보통의 장면_달여리
7장  2009-2017서울젠트리피케이션_정용택
8장 왜정부의임차상인보호정책은실패하는가: 투기를 부추기는 임차상인 대책 평가_김상철
9장 지방도시,소멸과축소그리고재생의갈림길_이영범
10장 젠트리피케이션과법제도의개선방향_이강훈
11장 내쫓김을 극복하기 위한 새로운 도전: 토지가치 공유형 지역자산화_조성찬
12장 젠트리피케이션의 대안, 토지의 본질 회복하기_전은호

‘안티 젠트리피케이션’ 운동은 더욱 계란으로 바위치기 하는 셈이 아닐까라는 우려가 들 수 있다. 그러나 젠트리피케이션을 막을 방법이 없다고 해서 ‘안티 젠트리피케이션’ 운동 자체가 아무 의미 없다고 할 수는 없다. 자본주의 체제의 폐해가 심하다고 해서, 자본주의 하에서 개혁ㆍ변혁운동은 아무 소용없는 일이라고 하지 않는 것과 같은 맥락이다. 오히려 이러한 운동에 더욱 매진해야 할 일이다. 젠트리피케이션으로 인한 폐해가 기존 토지 이용자의 쫓겨남이라면, 결국 ‘안티 젠트리피케이션’ 운동의 관건은 소극적으로는 이러한 쫓겨남을 방지할 수 있는 대책을 세우고, 경제적 지위에 상관없이 도시민 모두가 공존할 수 있는 다양성을 보장 받기 위한 제도의 마련에 있을 것이다. 이러한 공존을 위해 재개발ㆍ재건축 현장 등에서 버려지거나 소멸되는 각종 동식물에게도 ‘시민권’을 부여하는 것 역시 진지하게 생각해봐야 할 것이다. 좀 더 적극적인 의미에서의 ‘안티 젠트리피케이션’ 운동은 자본주의적 공간 생산 방식 자체를 새롭게 디자인 하는 것이라고 할 수 있다. 이를 위해서는 젠트리피케이션을 가능하게 하는, 부동산 지배 이데올로기에 맞설 대안 이데올로기의 생산과 지역공동체의 지속적 저항을 가능하게 하는 물질적ㆍ제도적 기반의 확보도 필요할 것이다. 그를 위한 운동은 궁극적으로 자본주의 사회에서 공간 기획과 생산의 주체가 되지 못하는 수많은 도시민들이 주체로 나설 수 있도록 도시권을 확보하는 운동일 수 밖에 없으며, 도시공간의 경제적 기능이 사회적 기능에 종속되기 위한 운동이 되어야 할 것이다. (신현방, 1장 중에서)

SNU Institute of East Asian Urban Research 서울대 SSK 동아시아 도시사업단

I have been part of this exciting research group since 2014 as part of the research project “Crisis and Transformation of East Asian Cities in the Age of Globalization” (In Korean: “세계화 시대 , 동아시아 도시의 위기와 전환”) funded by the Social Sciences Korea programme (2014-2017), National Research Foundation of Korea.

The project aims to “provide a more concrete understanding of Cold War developmental urbanization, the SSK Research Project on East Asian Cities attempts to explain the urbanization of South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China in terms of three elements that define the character of East Asian urban­ization: compression, exceptionality, and risk.” To see a brief summary of the project in English, click here.

The team’s Korean web site has been revamped recently to include a fuller list of team members and what they do. Click here to visit the staff page and find out their profiles.

제가 2014년부터 함께 하고 있는 서울대 SSK 동아시아 도시사업단의 웹페이지가 새롭게 단장을 마치고, 특히 프로젝트 참여 연구원들의 프로필을 새롭게 추가하였습니다. 자세한 내용은 해당 웹페이지를 참조하세요. 동아시아 도시사업단은 “세계화 시대, 동아시아 도시의 위기와 전환”이라는 SSK 중형 프로젝트를 수행하고 있으며, 2014-2017년 기간 동안 이라는 주제로 ‘압축공간, 예외공간, 위험경관’ 세 주제에 대한 연구를 진행하고 있습니다.

SSK 동아시아  도시연구단

SSK 동아시아 도시연구단

“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