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"This is a very rich monograph, based on impressive fieldwork in China, which demonstrates excellent qualitative and ethnographic research skills, research integrity, and cultural perceptiveness in the analysis. This book will make a great contribution to the literature on policy transfer and and policy mobilities, and on urban politics in contemporary China, as it offers a rich understanding of the nitty-gritty practices of transferring and learning 'from abroad'."Claire Colomb, Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at the University College London, UK.

This book explores the concept of Careful Urban Renewal, a concept of urban renewal that originated in Berlin in the 1980s and that was proposed to Yangzhou, a Chinese city of the wealthy province of Jiangsu, in the early 2000s. It sets out to understand whether knowledge and ideas originating in a specific setting can be transferred to another locality thousands of miles away from the point of origin, and have the chance to change the policies and the practices of the destination city. The book shows that foreign ideas can inspire ambitious reforms of the policies of a single city, but that there also exist multiple challenges to policy learning and to the rooting of new ideas in local practices. To explore these challenges, this book develops an analysis of the micro-dynamics of policy transfer, showing that there exist multiple hierarchies to which a Chinese city can be subjected, intermittently opening or closing “windows for policy learning”.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Studying the Transfer and Learning of Careful Urban Renewal in a Chinese City

Abstract
In this chapter, the author introduces the case of Yangzhou, very fruitful to explore the micro-dynamics of policy transfer in a case located in China – a country so far not so much explored by this literature. The author introduces the main research questions and anchoring of the research project – understand whether knowledge produced in one specific setting can find a valid application in another, very different one, and identify the characteristics of policy learning and policy translation by using a policy transfer perspective.
Giulia C. Romano

Chapter 2. A Research Framework to Capture the Complexity of Policy Transfers

Abstract
This chapter is dedicated to the theoretical and conceptual framework. The research benefitted of a double-level framework that combined a series of approaches to focus on the process of policy transfer from micro- and macro-perspectives. This framework helps take into account the multiple rationalities, interests and objectives that have an impact on the transfer process, attributable to various levels of the state as well as to the different professional and political positions existing in diverse departments and units of different government levels. To provide both a macro- and micro-perspective on the transfer and learning process, the framework combines Peter Hall’s conceptualisation of “paradigm shifts”, John Kingdon’s Multiple Stream Framework, and the insights of the sociology of translation.
Giulia C. Romano

Chapter 3. The Chinese Paradigm of Urban Renewal in the Early 2000s

Abstract
In this chapter, the author introduces the practices of urban renewal in China in the early 2000s. It focuses on the plans and policies of the Old City of Yangzhou, as well as on the local practices of urban renewal and conservation. It also introduces the main structural forces that support these same practices, which are not only exclusive to Yangzhou, but can be found in many other localities in China. These forces can be ascribed to four major reforms introduced by the central government during the 1980s–1990s that considerably increased the competences of local governments in city development and pushed them to invest money and efforts in transforming substantially the aspect and life of Chinese cities.
Giulia C. Romano

Chapter 4. Introducing a New Paradigm: The Delivery of Careful Urban Renewal to Yangzhou

Abstract
This chapter is dedicated to the project of international cooperation between GTZ and the Yangzhou government. It highlights the understandings that the German cooperation agency had of the problems of Yangzhou Old City, the solutions proposed and the activities conducted with the local administration. The author in particular dwells on the difficulties that emerged during the cooperation process, revealing the different positions of the local administration with respect to the protection and use of the old city of Yangzhou. Nevertheless, the project of international cooperation represented a very useful opportunity for the local government to engage in policy learning and experiment with new ideas.
Giulia C. Romano

Chapter 5. Towards the Establishment of a New Urban Renewal Paradigm

Abstract
In this chapter, the author shows how foreign knowledge inspired reforms in Yangzhou. She focuses on the local process of policy learning and translation, dwelling on its challenges and on the factors that allowed for the opening of a policy window. Once urban renewal attained an important position in the local governmental agenda, the city government started an intense phase of revision of its urban renewal policies, which led to significant changes not only in the practice of urban renewal, but also in its goals.
Giulia C. Romano

Chapter 6. Neither Careful Nor Destructive: Is Urban Renewal in Transition?

Abstract
In this chapter, Romano illustrates the presence of twists and turns in the process of policy learning, showing first of all an initial phase of rejection – that halted the process of policy experimentation. However, later on the local government returned to apply a careful approach to urban renewal. This shift was due to the presence of different actors at different levels of the local administration, as well as to the emergence of new discourses of the central government. Nevertheless, when looking at the process from a broader perspective, the author argues that it is not possible to talk about a real paradigm shift as reforms supporting such type of change are still missing and depend on the willingness and capacity of the central government.
Giulia C. Romano

Chapter 7. Conclusion

Abstract
This chapter concludes the treatise by wrapping up the story of the transfer of Careful Urban Renewal to Yangzhou, drawing lessons from this case and reconnecting with the questions presented in the introduction. To this aim, the chapter proposes a discussion of the case study in dialogue with the literature on policy transfer introduced in Chap. 1, in particular David Dolowitz’s (Novos Estudios, 36(1), 35–56, 2017) recent treatise about policy transfer and policy learning, and Martin de Jong’s (Policy and Society, 32(2), 89–101, 2013) assessment of policy transfers in China. The case of Yangzhou can be understood as a ‘textbook case’ for its similarities with the findings of the literature on policy transfers, but it also presents a number of aspects that analyses dedicated to policy transfer and knowledge utilisation have to consider carefully.
Giulia C. Romano

Backmatter

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