Postgraduate students research a broad range of topics across the School disciplines.
The Urbanization of Shenzhen’s Urban Villages: Self-Government, Economic Activity and City Government Relations
This thesis will document the social and economic changes in several urban villages of Shenzhen (China) from the 1980s to the present. The thesis seeks to understand the rapid urbanization process in Shenzhen from the unique angle of the original villagers and their self-governing organizations. It will evaluate the villages’ varied abilities in self-governing and try to find out what make an urban village more or less successful as an urban environment. In addition, it will explore the relationships between the original villagers and the various other groups of people who have stakes in the villages such as the local government, the migrant resident population, and various business communities. The understanding of these relationships will provide a more well-rounded evaluation of the urban village community as a whole in China.
The research is of great importance for the future of China studies because it touches on several of the most important grand themes concerning China in the 21st Century: urbanization, population migration, harmonious society, and cultural heritage preservation. Through research on urban villages in Shenzhen, which are some of the earliest in China, it will provide a good framework for conceptualising and understanding the social, economic and political issues confronting the countless other emerging urban villages across China.