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The Great Urban TransformationPolitics of Land and Property in China$
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You-tien Hsing

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568048

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568048.001.0001

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Municipal Governments, Socialist Land Masters, and Urban Land Battles

Municipal Governments, Socialist Land Masters, and Urban Land Battles

(p.33) Chapter 2 Municipal Governments, Socialist Land Masters, and Urban Land Battles
The Great Urban Transformation

You‐tien Hsing (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 discusses local politics at the municipal government level. It focuses on land battles in the urban core between high‐ranking state units (or “socialist land masters”) and municipal governments. It argues that while the socialist land masters occupy premium land parcels inherited from the planned economy, the municipal government's authority is reinforced by a modernist discourse, Western urban planning doctrines, and recent policies that grant authority over state‐owned urban land to the territorial government. Rather than settling the matter of power in the city, however, municipal leaders' granted authority is tested and defined by their political, regulatory, organizational, and moral authority in negotiations with those above, within, and below them. The municipal government's regulatory capacity is especially challenged by a fragmented real estate industry that includes players from state, non‐state, and hybrid sectors.

Keywords:   state land tenure, local state, real estate industry, municipal government, work unit (danwei), state capacity, inner‐city redevelopment, urban planning, zoning, Beijing

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