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Collaborative Planning in China: Authoritarian Institutions, New Media, Power Relations, and Public Spheres

Objective

Collaborative planning has become an effective means to address conflicts of interest in urban renewal and environmental management in China. However, the egalitarian principles that ground collaborative planning theory call into question its validity in China. The theory emphasizes consensus building in which various stakeholders come together for dialogue to address controversial issues. It rests on three assumptions: democratic institutions, neutral power and communicative rationality. These assumptions, which are often debated in the Western context, should clearly be questioned in the Chinese context, due to authoritarian institutions and the challenging nature of power relations. Therefore, the aim of my project is to examine the practices of collaborative planning in China and identify the challenges to the assumptions of the theory. I will develop three novel tracks for examination and reconceptualization. The first will analyze how Chinese political and planning systems, social capital and culture affect the interactive processes. The second will apply network theory and social network analysis to analyze various types of power relations between government, planners, civil society and citizens. The third will identify various forms of online public spheres and how they interact with offline public spheres to affect communicative and agonistic approaches to collaborative planning. The research will employ an innovative mixed methods approach combining critical discourse analysis, data mining, computer-assisted content analysis, and social network analysis to research a wide range of case studies.

My project will lead to a new understanding of collaborative planning in China, and a reconceptualization of the collaborative planning theory to make it suitable for authoritarian contexts.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/political science/political policy/civil society
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/data science/data mining

Call for proposal

ERC-2020-STG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-STG - Starting Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT
Address
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 500 000

Beneficiaries (1)

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 1 500 000
Address
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments