cover of book

Learning from Shenzhen: China’s Post-Mao Experiment from Special Zone to Model City
edited by Mary Ann O'Donnell, Winnie Wong and Jonathan Bach
University of Chicago Press, 2017
Paper: 978-0-226-40112-6 | eISBN: 978-0-226-40126-3 | Cloth: 978-0-226-40109-6
Library of Congress Classification HT178.C62S54 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 307.3416095127

This multidisciplinary volume, the first of its kind, presents an account of China’s contemporary transformation via one of its most important yet overlooked cities: Shenzhen, located just north of Hong Kong. In recent decades, Shenzhen has transformed from an experimental site for economic reform into a dominant city at the crossroads of the global economy. The first of China’s special economic zones, Shenzhen is today a UNESCO City of Design and the hub of China’s emerging technology industries.

Bringing China studies into dialogue with urban studies, the contributors explore how the post-Mao Chinese appropriation of capitalist logic led to a dramatic remodeling of the Chinese city and collective life in China today. These essays show how urban villages and informal institutions enabled social transformation through cases of public health, labor, architecture, gender, politics, education, and more. Offering scholars and general readers alike an unprecedented look at one of the world’s most dynamic metropolises, this collective history uses the urban case study to explore critical problems and possibilities relevant for modern-day China and beyond.

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