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Spatial egalitarianism as a social �counter-movement': on socio-economic reforms in Chongqing

Lim, Kean Fan

Spatial egalitarianism as a social �counter-movement': on socio-economic reforms in Chongqing Thumbnail


Kean Fan Lim


Through a framework drawn from Karl Polanyi's substantivist theorization of economic practices, this paper evaluates the quest for equitable urbanization in Chongqing, a major city-region in south-western China. Illuminating the tensions arising from two interrelated reforms, namely the ambitious attempt to construct 40 million m² of public rental housing between 2010 and 2012, and the large-scale drive to ensure peasant migrants enjoy equal access to social benefits as current urban residents, the paper explains how the quest for equitable urbanization magnifies two nationwide dimensions of institutionalized uneven development, namely 1) the caste-like categorization of populations according to �urban� and �rural�; and 2) the coastal bias in national economic development. The paper concludes that this state-driven pursuit of spatial egalitarianism in Chongqing expresses the dialecticism of economic development in China: it is a social �counter-movement� against the effects of an uneven spatiality that was instituted to drive and deepen the marketization of Chinese society.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 8, 2014
Deposit Date Jul 6, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jul 6, 2015
Journal Economy and Society
Print ISSN 0308-5147
Electronic ISSN 0308-5147
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 3
Keywords Spatial Egalitarianism, Urban�Rural Integration, Hukou, Double Movement, State�Market Relations, Chongqing, China
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Economy and Society on 8/08/2014, available online:


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