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This book follows the citizenship-based approach and interrogates the policies on urban village redevelopment from a perspective of social exclusion and inclusion. It focuses on two questions: how policy makers and urban villagers understand social inclusion differently, and what makes a difference in enhancing social inclusion. Firstly, an examination of citizenship conceptions, as reflected in the Chinese traditional discourses, provides the basis for questioning the political rhetoric of social inclusion in China. Secondly, a comparison between policy makers’ and villages’ interpretations on urban citizenship helps explore the different understandings of citizenship between them. Finally, by studying six redeveloped urban villages in the city of Xi’an, the book identifies what villagers strive for, and discusses how their strivings make a difference in achieving social inclusion during urban village redevelopment.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Urban Village Redevelopment: The Paradox of Social Inclusion

Abstract
Urban villages in China refer to the former rural villages that are deprived of arable lands and absorbed by the expanding urban area. In recent years they grew in size and were considered by governments to stand in the way of the Chinese urban development. Since the early 2000s, the authorities have embarked on a programme of large-scaled redevelopment in the name of promoting social inclusion. This chapter firstly provides a briefing on the development of urban villages over the past two decades. It then makes a comparison between Xi’an and other frequently studied cities. Following this, it contextualises social exclusion/inclusion within urban villages, and justifies the use of citizenship as the key concept to understand the exclusionary/inclusionary process of urban village redevelopment.
Xiaoqing Zhang

2. From Social Exclusion to Social Inclusion: Where Does Citizenship Fit In?

Abstract
This chapter begins with a brief introduction on how the concepts of social exclusion and citizenship were brought to bear on China, and tries to make sense of their uses in a Chinese context. It establishes the theoretical framework by answering two questions: first, in which aspects are the theories of social exclusion and citizenship malleable and capable of being adapted to fit into the Chinese scenario; and second, what is the function of citizenship in creating social inclusion in China? It argues that social exclusion in China is more than a matter of economic disadvantages, but is also an expression of incomplete citizenship and rights deprivation. Therefore, in order to combat social exclusion, it is necessary to form a citizenship-based framework from a holistic point. Citizenship in China can be interpreted as membership, as rights and obligations, as identity, and as the process of right extension.
Xiaoqing Zhang

3. Government’s Understanding of Social Inclusion

Abstract
This chapter begins with an examination on the shift of policy focus on urban village redevelopment. It then explores how the notion of social inclusion is understood by the local government in Xi’an and its implications on citizenship as membership, as rights, and as the process of right extension. The official interpretation of social inclusion is influenced by a Chinese version of citizenship, which focuses on hukou system, puts socioeconomic inclusion at priority, and deeply resonates with the Chinese traditional ideology. This chapter argues that the redevelopment policy actually implied a trade-off by which villagers were made to compromise on property rights in exchange for social rights.
Xiaoqing Zhang

4. Villagers’ Understanding of Social Inclusion

Abstract
This chapter explores how the notion of inclusion is understood by villages in terms of citizenship as identity and as the process of struggle for rights. After sketching out a general socioeconomic picture of the six studies cases, it discusses how villages look at themselves as being urban citizens based on their self-identify. Villagers’ sense of inclusion is generally aligned with their financial status; in cases where villagers have a strong financial status, they also show a high level of sense of inclusion; besides, the sense of inclusion is also influenced by how villagers participate in the process of redevelopment. Finally, a study on the process of villagers’ struggle for rights demonstrates that what villagers strive for is not only a fair compensation for a secured livelihood, but also the rights to have a say and to not being displaced from urban life in renewed centrality.
Xiaoqing Zhang

5. Making a Difference: Inclusion Through Active Participation

Abstract
This chapter challenges the local authorities neglecting villagers’ desire to participate in the process of urban village redevelopment. It firstly introduces the village autonomy in urban villages and explains how it lays the foundation for villagers’ participation in the redevelopment of urban village. Then it goes on to illustrate that although local authorities limit the scope of villages’ participation, villagers still have their ways to resolve conflicts and achieve solutions outside of the formalised framework. A study of three cases with high levels of inclusion show that, when being empowered, villagers have a clear idea as to what they need and can work together to achieve a strong outcome during redevelopment. The way they achieve a favourable solution is based on both the villagers’ decades of rural autonomy and the mutual trust established between ordinary villagers and village committees.
Xiaoqing Zhang

6. Conclusion: Social Inclusion, Citizenship, and Beyond

Abstract
This chapter gives an analytical conclusion and provides some reflective thinking on the policies of urban village redevelopment in Xi’an. It argues that in dealing with China’s rapid urbanisation, different understandings on the meaning of urban citizenship are at play. From the perspective of local authorities, urban citizenship remains at a narrow definition that implies membership identity with associated benefits. The populace’s understanding, however, broadly expands the notion of citizenship from a passive and static status on membership identity to the active process of realising that identity. The discrepancy between different understandings of citizenship is a major potential for triggering conflicts in urban redevelopment projects. In dealing with conflicts, the chapter suggests that cultivating a participatory environment and assisting a mature development of neighbourhood self-governance would contribute to a stable and harmonious urbanisation process in the future.
Xiaoqing Zhang

Backmatter

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