State territorialization, neoliberal governmentality: the remaking of Dafen oil painting village, Shenzhen, China

J. Wang*, Si Ming LI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

After being showcased during Shanghai EXPO2010, Dafen village has been put forward as an example of “best practice” governance that has transformed a backward urban village into an art cluster. Behind this glorified image is a continuously re-constructed social landscape. In this study, we adopt the approach of state territorialization, drawing insights from the Foucauldian concept of governmentality as disposition of things—in particular people and their relations to land. At issue here is how the dynamic process of territorialization, combined with the Chinese version of moral citizenship, serves the remaking of subjects, landscape, and their relations. In Dafen village, the experiment of fabricating conditioned welfare within China’s welfare system conjures up a new hukou arrangement and new forms of inclusion and exclusion. By exercising the technology of self-regulation, the state seeks temporal and fragile alignments with selected social groups. The outcomes are contingent and frequently take the form of new configurations of power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-728
Number of pages21
JournalUrban Geography
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • cultural cluster
  • governmentality
  • moral citizenship
  • Territorialization

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