China's Urban Champions: The Politics of Spatial Development - Princeton Studies in Contemporary China 3 (Paperback)Kyle A. Jaros (author)
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The rise of major metropolises across China since the 1990s has been a double-edged sword: although big cities function as economic powerhouses, concentrated urban growth can worsen regional inequalities, governance challenges, and social tensions. Wary of these dangers, China's national leaders have tried to forestall top-heavy urbanization. However, urban and regional development policies at the subnational level have not always followed suit. China's Urban Champions explores the development paths of different provinces and asks why policymakers in many cases favor big cities in a way that reinforces spatial inequalities rather than reducing them.
Kyle Jaros combines in-depth case studies of Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, and Jiangsu provinces with quantitative analysis to shed light on the political drivers of uneven development. Drawing on numerous Chinese-language written sources, including government documents and media reports, as well as a wealth of field interviews with officials, policy experts, urban planners, academics, and businesspeople, Jaros shows how provincial development strategies are shaped by both the horizontal relations of competition among different provinces and the vertical relations among different tiers of government. Metropolitan-oriented development strategies advance when lagging economic performance leads provincial leaders to fixate on boosting regional competitiveness, and when provincial governments have the political strength to impose their policy priorities over the objections of other actors.
Rethinking the politics of spatial policy in an era of booming growth, China's Urban Champions highlights the key role of provincial units in determining the nation's metropolitan and regional development trajectory.
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Number of pages: 360
Dimensions: 235 x 156 mm
"This book makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the multilevel politics of spatial development in contemporary China. Its in-depth coverage of four provinces is rare and impressive."-Jae Ho Chung, Seoul National University
"This is an important, powerful, and original book, demonstrating admirably intensive research and a masterly research design. The quantitative conclusion is especially convincing and the major finding about why provincial leaders concentrate resources in provinces' capitals is a compelling formulation. The work is provocative and has the potential to become definitive."-Dorothy J. Solinger, professor emerita, University of California, Irvine
"Which Chinese cities grow, and which ones are allowed to wither? This book navigates the convoluted policies and contested priorities that shape these decisions across different levels of China's government. Using nuanced case studies from four provinces, Jaros highlights how the abstract politics of development are remade by considering space."-Jeremy Wallace, Cornell University
"This solid work of original research makes a substantial contribution to the literature on China's spatial development. Focusing on four provincial cases, Jaros looks at how provincial governments interact with central and subprovincial governments. This book's arguments are convincing." -You-tien Hsing, University of California, Berkeley