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Four Theses in the Study of China's Urbanization

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  • JOHN FRIEDMANN

Abstract

This article is written specifically for students of Chinese urbanization who are not sinologists. Four theses should inform their studies. The first is that China is an ancient urban civilization, but the processes we observe today are unprecedented. Thus, China's urbanization must be studied under this dual aspect, giving due to both historical continuities and the unique characteristics of our own era. The second thesis argues that urbanization is a set of multidimensional socio-spatial processes of at least seven different and overlapping dimensions, each with its own vocabulary and traditions of scholarship. The study of China's urbanization thus requires a trans-disciplinary approach. Thesis number three argues that urbanization involves rural-urban relations, but in contrast with many earlier studies, these relationships should be studied from an urban rather than rural perspective. Finally, and most contentiously, China's urbanization, although entwined with globalization processes, is to be understood chiefly as an endogenous process leading to a specifically Chinese form of modernity. Copyright (c) 2006 The Author. Journal Compilation (c) 2006 Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • John Friedmann, 2006. "Four Theses in the Study of China's Urbanization," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 440-451, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ijurrs:v:30:y:2006:i:2:p:440-451
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    Cited by:

    1. Heyuan You, 2016. "Quantifying the coordinated degree of urbanization in Shanghai, China," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 1273-1283, May.
    2. Yah, Tingting & Wang, Jinxia & Huang, Jikun, 2015. "Urbanization, Agricultural Water Use, and Regional and National Crop Production in China," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211882, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:345-:d:129253 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Yan, Tingting & Wang, Jinxia & Huang, Jikun, 2015. "Urbanization, agricultural water use, and regional and national crop production in China," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 318(C), pages 226-235.
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:9:p:2976-:d:164998 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:8:p:2953-:d:164662 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jinlong Gao & Yehua Dennis Wei & Wen Chen & Komali Yenneti, 2015. "Urban Land Expansion and Structural Change in the Yangtze River Delta, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(8), pages 1-27, July.
    8. repec:kap:compec:v:52:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10614-017-9744-y is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Yunqiang Liu & Jiuping Xu & Huawei Luo, 2014. "An Integrated Approach to Modelling the Economy-Society-Ecology System in Urbanization Process," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(4), pages 1-27, April.
    10. Robert Huggins & Shougui Luo & Piers Thompson, 2014. "The competitiveness of China's Leading Regions: Benchmarking Their Knowledge-based Economies," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 105(3), pages 241-267, July.
    11. Wei Zheng & Patrick Paul Walsh, 2018. "Economic growth, urbanization and energy consumption," Working Papers 201817, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

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