Transformations and Trajectories in the Pearl River Delta: Reform and the Future in South China
Sponsoring Organsiation: Australian Centre on China in the World, Australian National University
Workshop Organisers: China Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney; Center for Studies of Hong Kong, Macao and Pearl River Delta, Sun Yat-sen University
RSVPs are now closed.
The Pearl River Delta (PRD) region has historically played the leading role in China’s transformation under reform. Now, into the fourth decade of transformation since 1979, the region faces new and rapidly changing social, political and economic conditions, conditions that raise important questions of interest to scholars, policy makers and global capital, as well as for state-society relations including the specific interests of regional planners, officials and local citizens. These include challenges of regional economic restructuring; migration and factory labour regimes; continuing rural-urban integration and urbanization; politics of scale between constituent cities, the region, the province, and the central government; serious economic inequality; the roles of Hong Kong and articulation of the Hong Kong relationship; and new expectations of the mobile and increasingly cosmopolitan population.
As a national-level political-economic region, the PRD is a geographically unique economic territory including Hong Kong and Macao within and distinct from Guangdong province. Its complex history and transformation have few precedents in the world. Historically, the physical geographical region of the Pearl River delta is South China’s maritime link with the world economy – simultaneously a centre of international exchange and the Chinese empire’s maritime frontier. This deeper history in the Lingnan cultural region transcends the boundaries of the contemporary nation-state. In the process of change, the contemporary PRD, through globally record-setting regional economic growth, has become as if a world brand – ‘PRD™’ – at a distance from its own regional past. Yet now as the region restructures from manufacturing to services economies, urban governments are rediscovering historic places through prioritisation of the cultural economy.
Since the formal establishment of the PRD as a national level economic region, as set forth in the ‘Outline of the Plan for Reform and Development of the PRD Region (2008-2020)’, the region has faced intensified challenges and goals. Pressure to upgrade the regional economy, from standardised manufacturing and labour-intensive industries to higher technology production, contributes to inter-city competition within the region, and holds implications for the region’s continuing significance in the world economy. At the same time, as a region open to the world, the PRD has always transformed in relation to international possibilities and practices.
The perspective of ‘the PRD under transformation’ will act as the abiding theme of the workshop. We are interested in the ways in which the local realities, issues and problems, in the context of history, become the focus of government policy, and the ways in which policy is enacted through particular plans, strategies and techniques. In addition, we are also concerned with how policy substantiates or complicates existing understandings, debates and theoretical frameworks. Therefore, we expect that each paper will document the role of the state and the policy implementation process, and will also address how the process affects established relationships, such as those between the rural and the urban; state and society; locals and migrants; and the hierarchy of governance in centralisation-decentralisation relationships through forms of recentralisation.
With an interdisciplinary perspective and dedication to understanding processes of change, the workshop takes a dialectical approach to matters of interpretation through which to allow scholars from diverse backgrounds to work together and enhance exchange of perspectives. The dialectical approach involves unpacking a government policy and its practices. Instead of accepting state policy as if ‘given’, this perspective examines how policies are conceived, shaped and enacted by local government in relation to social, political and economic interests and dynamics. David Harvey explains how dialectical approach understands and explains real social conditions and processes in ways that show the necessary connections between ‘surface appearances’ and underlying questions, issues and forces of change, and in the context of thinking through interrelated spatio-temporal scales (e.g. village, county, district, city, region, province, nation, world).
The workshop expects each paper to interrelate the following information and perspectives (i.e. not in this particular order):
- Role of the state and state policy
- Local conditions and context
- Historical perspectives, process and transformation
- Major debates
General workshop topics:
- Governance and civil society
- Urban redevelopment and social change
- Labour and migration
- Urban-rural land use change
- Cultural policy and governance
- Economic restructuring and urban services industries
- Regional planning
Presenation Topics and Authors
Carolyn CARTIER (UTS) Making Policy Match? Cultural Policy in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta
Shanshan LAN (HKBU) Unravelling the “Sanfei” Question among African Migrants in Guangzhou: A Policy Analysis
Agnes Koon-chui LAW (SYSU) Government Policy on Funding Social Work NGOs: Reflections on Guangzhou Experience
Xi Yuan LI (SYSU) Multiple Roles of Community Corporation in the Process of PRD City Renewal
Xiaoying LI and Guanghan CHEN (SYSU) Improve the Workplace or Else: What Do Unions Do in South China’s Pearl River Delta?
Jiang LIN and Yongping LIU (SYSU) Improving and Innovating the Financial System of “Province Governing County” in the Context of Regional Integration
Maurizio MARINELLI (UTS) From Street Hawkers to Public Markets: Modernity and Sanitization Made in Hong Kong
Mi SHIH (UTS) Urban Villages Redevelopment in Guangzhou: Pragmatic Approach and Authoritative State Planning
Ngai-Ling SUM (Lancaster) A Cultural Political Economy of Cross-Border Policy ‘Gifts’: The Politics of “Renminbi Business” in Hong Kong as an International Financial Hub
Wing-Shing TANG (HKBU) The Pearl River Delta as ‘Spaces of Hope’: The Study on the Action Plan for the Bay Area of the Pearl River Estuary
Luigi TOMBA (ANU) Fragmented Land Policies in the Pearl River Delta
- 18 October 2012 to 19 October 2012
- 09:00 - 18:00
- City - Haymarket CM05D Room CM05D.02.19 - Quay Street, Haymarket.
- All Welcome
- RSVPs are now closed.
- Claire Moore