City-regionalism in the Yangtze River Delta
In May 2017, we were delighted to host a visit by Dr Yi Li, Associate Professor at the School of Public Administration, Hohai University, China.
Dr Li's research focuses on city-regional development and governance in China, and in a lunchtime seminar she presented findings from her most recent paper, Understanding city-regionalism in China: Regional cooperation in the Yangtze River Delta.
This paper, co-authored with Professor Fulong Wu of UCL, explores the impact on city-region integration of two different regional-scale mechanisms - the top-down state-mandated process and the bottom-up process initiated by local governments - and of the associated internal politics that these generate.
Dr Li argued that China’s territorial administrative divisions are central to understanding the efforts to construct city-regions, as well as to understanding the failure to create a new subnational state space. This research echoes wider debates on taking the experiences of the global South more seriously in order to contribute to Western-dominated urban and regional theory.