The dynamics of the city-managing-county model in China: implications for rural–urban interaction

Zhenjie YANG, Muluan Alfred WU

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9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper aims to shed fresh light on rural–urban interaction and urbanization in a non-Western authoritarian context. It describes the change in post-Mao China from very vertical and separate government hierarchies for rural and urban areas, which inhibited rural–urban interactions, to a city-managing-county model, with rural counties around a city coming under the jurisdiction of the city government. Drawing on field research and statistical data, the paper elucidates the dynamics and complexities of this model, arguing that the combination of city-based bureaucrats favouring the city and the priority given to economic growth mandated by the central government often meant a lack of attention to rural development and support for county government. The paper also comments on the recent development of the province-managing-county model in China, and argues that given an urban-centred administrative system, whether the current reform can change the political and administrative equilibrium in China remains an open question. Copyright © 2015 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-342
JournalEnvironment and Urbanization
Volume27
Issue number1
Early online dateFeb 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

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China
interaction
administrative system
rural development
field research
statistical data
urbanization
jurisdiction
urban area
rural area
economic growth
reform
county
city
lack

Citation

Yang, Z., & Wu, A. M. (2015). The dynamics of the city-managing-county model in China: implications for rural–urban interaction. Environment and Urbanization, 27(1), 327-342.

Keywords

  • China
  • Decentralization
  • Local government
  • Rural–urban interaction
  • Urbanization