Learning from Shenzhen: China's Post-Mao Experiment from Special Zone to Model City

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Product Details
University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.9 inches | 1.01 pounds

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About the Author

Mary Ann O'Donnell is an independent artist-ethnographer and cofounder of the Handshake 302 Art Space in Shenzhen. Winnie Won Yin Wong is assistant professor of rhetoric and history of art at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Van Gogh on Demand: China and the Readymade, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Jonathan Bach is associate professor and chair of global studies at the New School in New York. He is the author of Between Sovereignty and Integration: German Foreign Policy and National Identity after 1989.

"Shenzhen is an extraordinary city, but until now, surprisingly little had been written about it. This book, which traces the story of Shenzhen from its late 1970s beginnings to its subsequent explosive growth into the present, fills that void. These chapters clearly and eloquently depict the 'Shenzhen Miracle' in its successes--and also its considerable human costs. Anyone who reads this volume, whether social scientist or interested layperson, will come to see Shenzhen in an altogether new light."--Gordon Mathews, Chinese University of Hong Kong
"An incisive new book, Learning from Shenzhen... reveals that many of the advances seen since the city was opened up in 1980 came disruptively from below."-- "Economist"
"Twelve papers examine the political, economic, and social transformation of Shenzhen since 1979 as a pivotal case study of development in China, considering how policy experimentation and political model making came to be integrated into the official narrative."-- "Journal of Economic Literature"
"Learning from Shenzhen dives deeply into the ground-level dynamics of change to illuminate the forces and evolving cast of characters that made Shenzhen's development process much more contingent and chaotic than suggested by dominant narratives about Shenzhen's history. . . .An important addition to the literature on China, providing a rare in-depth look into the nature of Shenzhen and raising useful questions about the process of China's transformation."-- "Pacific Affairs"
"Fluidly combining historical, ethnographic, geographic, humanities, and policy research approaches, this is much more than a study of the history and contemporary life of one city. Especially emphasizing the place of Shenzhen as model and anti-model in China's marked turn toward urbanization, these essays sensitively explore the irreducible complexity of a Special Economic Zone turned futuristic urban exemplar. Clearly in conversation with each other, the contributors offer fresh theories and methods for engaging in critical scholarship on cities anywhere. This volume is a model of how to study the global contemporary moment with its burgeoning economic centers, mobile populations, and recurring crises."--Judith Farquhar, University of Chicago