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Class and Governance in the Luxury City
The Asian Development Bank, China, and Thailand
Transnational economic integration has been described by globalization boosters as a rising tide that will lift all boats, an opportunity for all participants to achieve greater prosperity through a combination of political cooperation and capitalist economic competition. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has championed such rhetoric in promoting the integration of China, Southeast Asia’s formerly socialist states, and Thailand into a regional project called the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). But while the GMS project is in fact hastening regional economic integration, Jim Glassman shows that the approach belies the ADB’s idealized description of "win-win" outcomes. The process of "actually existing globalization" in the GMS does provide varied opportunities for different actors, but it is less a rising tide that lifts all boats than an uneven flood of transnational capitalist development whose outcomes are determined by intense class struggles, market competition, and regulatory battles.
Glassman makes the case for adopting a class-based approach to analysis of GMS development, regionalization, and actually existing globalization. First he analyzes the interests and actions of various Thai participants in GMS development, then the roles of different Chinese actors in GMS integration. He next provides two cases illustrating the serious limits of any notion that GMS integration is a relatively egalitarian process—Laos’ participation in GMS development and the role of migrant Burmese workers in the production of the GMS. He finds that Burmese migrant workers, dam-displaced Chinese and Laotian villagers, and economically-stressed Thai farmers and small businesses are relative "losers" compared to the powerful business interests that shape GMS integration from locations like Bangkok and Kunming, as well as key sites outside the GMS like Beijing, Singapore, and Tokyo. The final chapter blends geographical-historical analysis with an assessment of uneven development and actually existing globalization in the GMS.
Cogent and persuasive, Bounding the Mekong will attract attention from the growing number of scholars analyzing globalization, neoliberalism, regionalization, and multiple scales of governance. It is suitable for graduate courses in geography, political science, and sociology as well as courses with a regional focus.
17 illus., 7 maps
2000 - 2009
Designed to reach a wide audience of scholars and policymakers, Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs provides accessible research on urban areas and issues, including studies on urban sprawl, crime, taxes, education, poverty, and related subjects.
Cosmetic Surgery in China
Chinese women are now pursuing cosmetic surgery as a way to increase their “beauty capital” and create new opportunities for social and professional success. Building on rich ethnographic data, this book shares the perspectives of women who have undergone cosmetic surgery and illuminates the motivations behind their decision. Wen Hua explores turbulent economic, sociocultural, and political change in China since the 1980s and its production of immense mental and corporeal anxieties.
Urban Beekeeping and the Power of the Bee
Crime and Governance in the Divided City
Old Tensions, New Discoveries
Changing Landscapes of Singapore illuminates both the social and the physical terrains of modern Singapore. Geographers use the term landscape to refer to visible surfaces and to the spatial dimension of social relations. Landscapes arise from particular historical circumstances, and in turn help shape social arrangements and possible courses of future development. The authors describe how the settings inhabited by various social groups in Singapore affect life experiences, and explore the impact of broader regional and international forces on Singapore. Written for non-specialists, the volume reflects fresh perspectives from the scholarship of Singaporean academics. Their work is sensitive to historical and geographical trends in the region, and also engages with broader theoretical themes.