Scalar Politics and Uneven Accessibility to Intercity Railway in the Pearl River Delta, China
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AbstractFocusing on the state as a contradiction-ridden multi-scalar institutional ensemble, this paper interrogates the relationships between scalar politics and uneven development through two interrelated arguments. First, uneven development reflects the historical layering of the scalar architecture of state regulation. It is produced by the interplay between contradictions of socio-spatial interests among state agents owing to the prevailing scalar division of labor, and inherent patterns of uneven development inscribed by earlier rounds of state scalar arrangements. Second, actual patterns of this state-driven uneven development are mediated through a variety of discourses, through which contending state agents bargain for and against particular forms of state rescaling to assert their power and interests. Illustrating these arguments, this paper examines the recent development of the Pearl River Delta Intercity Railway System through a combination of quantitative analysis, interviews and documentary review. It reveals a pattern of uneven accessibility which defies conventional wisdom, with the region’s most developed cities possessing the worst station accessibility. It is found that this unevenness stems from conflicts between scalar state agents with differentiated powers over the railway regime on what constitutes the most efficient siting of stations, reinforced by disparities in economic and railway development attributable to historical state scalar selectivities. The scalar politics so resulted was discursively mediated, as the contending state agents leveraged upon various discourses, evoking a medley of scales of governance and issues to defend for their preferred station locations.
All Author(s) ListZhang M.M, Xu Jiang, Chung C.K.L.
Journal nameAnnals of the American Association of Geographers
Year2020
Volume Number110
Issue Number4
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
Pages1260 - 1277
ISSN2469-4452
eISSN2469-4460
LanguagesEnglish-United States
Keywordsaccessibility, discourse, intercity railway, scalar politics, uneven development

Last updated on 2020-03-08 at 01:45