210218 - Presentation of the book Governing the Urban in China and India: Land Grabs, Slum Clearance, and the War on Air Pollution by the author Xuefei Ren, Michigan State University
Sciences Po, Webinar (Compulsory registration)
Urbanization is rapidly overtaking China and India, the two most populous countries in the world. One-sixth of humanity now lives in either a Chinese or Indian city. This transformation has unleashed enormous pressures on land use, housing, and the environment. Despite the stakes, the workings of urban governance in China and India remain obscure and poorly understood. In this book, Xuefei Ren explores how China and India govern their cities and how their different styles of governance produce inequality and exclusion. Drawing upon historical-comparative analyses and extensive fieldwork (in Beijing, Guangzhou, Wukan, Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata), Xuefei Ren investigates the ways in which Chinese and Indian cities manage land acquisition, slum clearance, and air pollution. She discovers that the two countries address these issues through radically different approaches. In China, urban governance centers on territorial institutions, such as hukou and the cadre evaluation system. In India, urban governance centers on associational politics, encompassing contingent alliances formed among state actors, the private sector, and civil society groups. Xuefei Ren will introduce her main research results and explore how territorial and associational forms of governance, dating back to late imperial China and precolonial India, have evolved to shape urban growth and residents’ struggles today.
Xuefei Ren, Associate Professor of Sociology and Global Urban Studies, Michigan State University
Xuefei Ren is a comparative urbanist whose work focuses on urban development, governance, architecture, and the built environment in global perspective. She is the author of Building Globalization: Transnational Architecture Production in Urban China (University of Chicago Press, 2011) and Urban China (Polity Press, 2013). She is currently working on a >number of comparative projects on urban redevelopment (China, India, Brazil, and U.S), mega-events (Beijing, Tokyo, and Rio Olympics), and culture-led revitalization in post-industrial cities (Detroit, Harbin, and Turin).
Jusmeet Singh Sihra, PhD candidate, Sciences Po, CERI and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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