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The Geography of Power in China: Urban Expansion and Administrative Empire

Funding: 2012: $65,000
2013: $72,000
2014: $46,000

Project Member(s): Cartier, C.

Funding or Partner Organisation: East China Normal University
City University of Hong Kong (The University of Hong Kong)
University of Sydney (The University of Sydney)
Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)
Australian Research Council (Other funds for ARC projects)

Start year: 2012

Summary: Over the past 30 years, hundreds of new cities and new types of cities have emerged in China. This project will analyze urban expansion through dynamics of the administrative hierarchy, China's spatial governing system of provinces, cities, counties and towns, to discover how changes to the hierarchy have propelled domestic growth while invigorating power of the Chinese Communist Party. Visions of urban futures emerge in the interests and actions of urban officials, who strategically advance political and economic goals through personal projects and state ideology. Comparison of seven cities will demonstrate how governing interests in China are constituted in different places and regions and their networks of power.


Hidalgo Martinez, M & Cartier, C 2017, 'City as province in China: the territorial urbanization of Chongqing', Eurasian Geography and Economics, vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 201-230.
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Cartier, C 2016, 'A Political Economy of Rank: the territorial administrative hierarchy and leadership mobility in urban China', Journal of Contemporary China, vol. 25, no. 100, pp. 529-546.
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Cartier, C 2013, 'What's territorial about China?--from geopolitical narratives to the 'administrative economy'', Eurasian Geography and Economics, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 57-77.
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Keywords: Chinagovernmentalitypolitical ideologyspace and placeurban history

FOR Codes: Urban and Regional Studies (excl. Planning), Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society, Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific, Understanding Asia's Past