The state (re)production of scale: a case study of Shenshan Special Cooperation Zone, China

  • Guohua Hu

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The scale is a fundamental yet controversial concept in human geography. Among diverse views over scale, this thesis draws insights from the process-based approach of scale jumping. It is a key notion to understand scale as a process, yet few explorations have been made on making use of its methodological values. Thus this thesis seeks to elaborate the notion by redeveloping it as an analytical framework. Four key elements are therefore concerned: (a) actors and their purposes; (b) directions; (c) approaches; and (d) outcomes. These elements form a framework to investigate the rescaling process of economic space in China. Conventional studies suggest that in the context of global competition, the role of state in scale (re)production has changed from a passive to an active actor. In China, where the state plays an active role in facilitating the economy, different levels of state actors, such as government officials and institutions, are involved in the (re)production of scale. Using the production of Shenshan Special Cooperation Zone (SSCZ) as a case study, the abovementioned four elements are investigated. Specifically, there are three research questions: (a) why do local governments rescale their economy? (b) How do local governments build SSCZ? And (c) what is the outcome of rescaling through SSCZ? The qualitative research method is used to collect data and other information for this research. This includes desktop searches and interviews of businessmen, planners, government officials, and local residents. Through a detailed investigation of the production of SSCZ, this research reveals the role of local governments, their intentions for rescaling, the approaches they used, and the outcomes of the rescaling

Date of Award24 Aug 2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHim CHUNG (Supervisor)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Regional economics
  • Economic development

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