Forming foreign enclaves in Shanghai : State action in globalization

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-118
Journal / PublicationJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


Urban spatial restructuring in the globalization process is contingent and non-uniform due to the multiplicity of interactions among the different actors involved. The burgeoning literature on Chinese cities suggests that local forces play an active role in many disciplines. One of the primary places to study such interaction is the foreign enclave, a residential concentration intended for foreigners (including ethnic foreigners and ethnic Chinese from overseas) that is emerging in many large Chinese cities. However, the local authorities' role in the formation of foreign enclaves has not been systematically examined. This article considers how the local authorities interpret the development of foreign enclaves and then how they design and implement strategies for them. Using the case of Gubei New District, the first and largest cluster of foreign housing projects in Shanghai, the article argues that developing foreign enclaves is central to the local governments' pursuit of structural competitiveness. An examination of this process may shed some light on the local authorities' dynamic response to the globalization of housing markets in Chinese cities, with shifting strategies corresponding to the varying perceived interests. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.

Research Area(s)

  • Foreign enclave, Globalization, Influx of elite groups, Local authority, Shanghai