Reassembling the state in urban China 中国城市治理空间的重构




Neoliberalism has become dominant in both thought and practice throughout much of the world since the early 1970s. In China, neoliberal ideas are growing fast, even as it festers and stagnates in capitalist economies. To capture this process, many scholars have extensively studied market politics in China, demonstrating how state functions are rearticulated downwards and outwards to allow local discretion and market formation. The result is a burly wave of urban entrepreneurialism, which becomes a key municipal strategy to enhance place-specific, socio-economic assets. However, such arguments neglect a counter-trend in which the state has deterritorialised and recentralised some key functions. This paper draws on two cases in urban land administration and state planning regulation to argue that state functions are being reassembled as a new post-crisis political instrument to reassert the functional importance of top-down regulatory control. Economic decentralization is now counterbalanced by the rise of state strategies to control the articulation of scales through which a more centrally consolidated power can be achieved. Rather than viewing markets as taking over the state and local territorial discretion overshadowing hierarchical administration, the paper emphasises the important role of state and top-down regulation in the current post-crisis context under transition.


自上世纪七十年代起,新自由主义成为了领导世界的主流思想及实践方向。市场革命极大地影响了发达国家与发展中国家现行的资本累积体制。尽管新自由思想思潮在资本主义经济体系的作用愈见滞后,但却在中国发展壮大。 有鉴于此,国内外学者开展了有关中国市场机制的研究,并认为下放经济管理权与政府职能直接导致了地方权力的扩张和市场的发育。结果就是城市企业主义的出现,并广泛成为城市政府强化地方社会经济优势的主要策略。然而,该种阐述忽略了一个重要的逆反现象,就是国家的管理体制也同时在经历“去地域化”、重建上级政府治理的过程。本文以城市土地管理与政府规划管理为例,来说明通过适当收权重建国家治理能力正成为一种新的管治工具。与权力下放不同,这种逆向趋势加强了上级政府的处理层级关系的能力。本文的主要论点为:市场并未取代政府,权力下放也并不代表‘条条’管理的消失。在转型期的后经济危机时代,政府的作用与至上而下式的治理模式依然十分重要。