Institute of Public and International Affairs (IPIA)
Wei, Y. H. Dennis
Beyond new regionalism, beyond global production networks: remaking the Sunan model, China
This paper attempts to advance the research on globalization and regional development in China through a study of Kunshan City. We investigate the restructuring process, the structure of FDI, and the nature of global-local networks to understand trajectories and models of regional development in the context of globalization. We highlight the interactions of the Chinese state, transnational corporations (TNCs) and regional assets in shaping the trajectories of regional development. We argue that Kunshan’s pathway to globalizing regional development is state-centered and heavily dependent on global forces, which has made Kunshan a TNC satellite district and a dual city segmented between TNCs and domestic firms. We also argue that TNCs’ local embeddedness has to be positioned in their global/external networks and that the assessment of regional development has to be conditioned upon a region’s specific context. The findings suggest that neither new regionalism nor GPN perspectives can fully explain regional development in China with huge domestic markets and large regional disparities. We promote an alternative, middle ground perspective to regional development to better integrate global forces, state institutions, and local contexts. Such a third approach to regional development has the potential to hold down the global and develop indigenous capacities.
Dennis Wei, Y.H. (2010). Beyond new regionalism, beyond global production networks: remaking the Sunan model, China. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 28(1), 1-51.