Lecture | 1 Feb 2012 - 2012

The Roots of Local Territorial Control: Housing Privatization and Enterprise Reform in the 1980s and 1990s

by Meg Rithmire

Abstract

Why are some local governments able to consolidate control over urban territory and some are not? Drawing on a paired comparison of two cities--Dalian and Harbin in the Northeast--Professor Rithmire investigates variation in land politics in initially similar cities. Dalian, benefitting from early access to foreign capital, consolidated control over urban territory by first segregating the new and old economies, then later introducing dual pressures for enterprises and their workers to restructure and relocate. Harbin, facing capital shortages, treated urban territory as a resource for distribution to assuage losers of reform by privatizing housing and encouraging enterprises to diversify their economic activities. As a result, officials in Harbin struggle with long-time claimants to urban land, while Dalian's local government has consolidated control over the city's territory.

Keywords: Governance Controls; Privatization; Government and Politics; Local Range; Restructuring; Crisis Management; Foreign Direct Investment; Economics; Diversification;

Citation:

Rithmire, Meg. "The Roots of Local Territorial Control: Housing Privatization and Enterprise Reform in the 1980s and 1990s." Lecture at the New England China Seminar, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, February 2012.