Zhang, Z. and Moore-Cherry, N. (2022), Urban Redevelopment, Displacement, and Governmentality in Nanjing’s Historic Inner-City. Antipode, 54: 979-999.
Housing-related urban development has become a core plank of China’s economic policy since the mid-1990s. Reports of resistance to displacement and resettlement associated with urban restructuring, once widespread, have dissipated since the early-2010s. Using the framework of governmentality and through qualitative empirical fieldwork in the historic inner-city of Nanjing, we try to understand the dynamics of this change. This research draws attention to how governments deploy new technologies and rationalities to regroup and push forward urban transformation. We highlight how more “advanced” disciplinary apparatuses both encourage neoliberal subjectivities among displacees and use authoritarian features to maintain the “order of things” in line with the desires of the Chinese state.