This paper investigates the spatial dimension of power relations and the seeking of social justice through an urban redevelopment project. I seek to provide an on-the-ground investigation on the role of space in affecting power relations and, hence, the seeking of social justice. Bringing together a relational approach, the positioning of actors, and the broader bottom-up conceptualisation of power, this paper presents a link between power and space, suggesting that different forms of power stem from the multiple connections which different actors draw from space, be it place or shifting positions. In the context of China's villages-in-the-city redevelopment, this idea suggests that the dispossessed are not entirely powerless, although their formal rights to participate are forfeit. In other words, the power of the dispossessed is spatially defined and their seeking of justice is determined by negotiated power relations. Put in the context of a Chinese city, this paper moves the discussion of social justice beyond liberal democratic societies where most of the literature is based. Such a move is expected to generate new understandings of the geographies of social justice.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Chinese cities
- Power and space
- Social justice
- Urban redevelopment