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2013 events

Ghost Cities - China's New Urban Pathology

Dr Bill Hurst, Northwestern University

Research seminar

6.30-8.00pm, Tuesday 19th March 2013

Pyramid Room (K4U.04), 4th Floor, King's Building, Strand Campus, King’s College London
All welcome


The construction of housing complexes (sometimes even whole neighborhoods or cities) that remain nearly entirely vacant has plagued urban China over the past decade. This seminar examines two cases of such mis-development: Inner Mongolia's Kangbashi and Sichuan's New Beichuan. Based on extended field research, interviews, and documentary sources, it will suggest that there at least two distinct processes underlying the development of Chinese "Ghost Cities" and discuss the broader implications for Chinese politics, economic development and social stability.


William Hurst (Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Northwestern University) works on labor politics, contentious politics, political economy, and the politics of law and legal institutions, principally in China and Indonesia.  He is the author of The Chinese Worker after Socialism (Cambridge) and co-editor of Laid-off Workers in a Workers’ State: Unemployment with Chinese Characteristics (Palgrave-MacMillan) and has published numerous articles and book chapters.  His current and ongoing research focuses on the politics of legal institutions in both China and Indonesia. Hurst’s teaching focuses on Chinese domestic politics and foreign policy, comparative political economy of development, contentious politics and social movements, as well as comparative politics more broadly.

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