Contentious Space and Politics of Scale: Planning for Inter-City Railway in China’s Mega-City Regions
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AbstractOver the past three decades, we have seen a flourishing of scholarship which explores the emerging political spaces and variegated scales of governance in China. This research draws on political economic tradition to argue that the way in which cities and regions are governed is indeed infused with socio-political struggles which are proliferating at a range of spatial scales. Such theoretical interpretation is illuminating, but it has been subject to increasing criticism from the poststructuralist approach that views scale as an epistemological construct. This paper uses the Pearl River Delta Intercity Railway System (PRD-ICRS) as a case study to challenge the onesidedness of both the political economy tradition and the poststructuralist approach in reading scale. It employs the “scale politics” thesis to argue that scale is more than a material existence (or institutionalized structure) that represents a particular arrangement of political power, being subject to perpetual transformation through regulatory projects and strategies. It is also a “representation trope” deployed in political discourses to acquire persuasive power to frame and legitimize these projects and strategies. Scale is thus both material and discursive. Understanding the two moments of scale enables a fuller dissection of political transformation.
All Author(s) ListXu, Jiang
Journal nameAsia Pacific Viewpoint
Volume Number58
Issue Number1
PublisherBlackwell Publishers
Place of PublicationOxford
Pages57 - 73
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsChina, intercity railway, Pearl River Delta, planning, scale politics

Last updated on 2021-23-09 at 00:34