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Diversification and Local Embeddedness: The Rescaling of National New Area Governance in Post-Reform China

by Li Wang 1,2, Heng Chao 1,3,* and Guicai Li 1,3
1
Shenzhen Graduate School, Peking University, Shenzhen 518055, China
2
College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100000, China
3
Laboratory for Urban Future (Shenzhen), Peking University, Shenzhen 518055, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6216; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226216
Received: 15 October 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 3 November 2019 / Published: 6 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Local and Regional Development in the Conditions of Globalisation)
In the rapidly growing literature on exploring urban restructuring in reference to the state rescaling, many authors have neglected the relatively fixed and immobile forms of territorial organization. The development of China’s National New Areas (NNAs) provides an opportunity to explore the hybrid and multiscalar processes of state rescaling. From the perspective of rescaling, an analytical framework was established to examine the practice of NNAs and their governance rescaling in China. Every National New Area (NNA) is the result of China’s “state spatial selectivity”, and the central government has guided policies to a specific spatial scale to cope with the development crisis. The rescaling of NNA governance is the process of the functioning of all-level administrative subjects in the functional orientation, spatial zoning, administrative system, and power allocation through rigid or flexible means. In practice, there are significant governance scale differences in territorial spatial organization, administrative systems, and power distribution among the various NNAs, which has led to diverse governance modes. The degree of coupling between the scale of new and existing administrative divisions is the key to the rescaling of NNA governance. Most NNAs are still facing the challenge of unifying their territorial development logic. Discussions of state rescaling in western countries have focused on the super-local level. The case of China clearly shows the role of local embeddedness and diversification in rescaling.
Keywords: rescaling; National New Area; governance; diversification; local embeddedness; China rescaling; National New Area; governance; diversification; local embeddedness; China
MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, L.; Chao, H.; Li, G. Diversification and Local Embeddedness: The Rescaling of National New Area Governance in Post-Reform China. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6216.

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