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An Exploration of Regional Capability
Li, Yan

Main titleAn Exploration of Regional Capability
SubtitleTowards A Comprehensive Understanding of Regional Development, Governance and Planning in China with Case Studies from the Northeast and Yangtze River Delta, 1978-2015
Title variationsEine Exploration der Regionalkapazität
Subtitle for translated titleAuf dem Weg zu einem umfassenden Verständnis für Regionalentwicklung, Governance und Planung in China mit Fallstudien von Nordostchina und Yangtze Delta, 1978-2015
Author(s)Li, Yan
Place of birth: Qingdao City, Shandong Province, People's Republic of China
1. RefereeProf. Dr. Dörte Segebart
Further Referee(s)Prof. Dr. Oliver Ibert
Keywordsregional development; regional analysis; economic geography; regional capability; path-assets analysis
Classification (DDC)550 Earth sciences
SummaryDer Nordosten Chinas als ein altes nationales Industriegebiet ist heute noch nicht aus dem Schatten der Deindustrialisierung. Das Yangtze Delta hat sich vom Land des Überflußes zu einer führenden Region der chinesischen Wirtschaft entwickelt. Warum entwickeln sich zwei Regionen so unterschiedlich? Welche Faktoren spielen dabei eine Rolle? Diese Studie versucht die Komplexität der Regionalentwicklung analytisch zu fassen. Sie bezieht sich zunächst auf aktuelle Erkenntnisse und Konzepte aus der Wirtschaftsgeographie, von den relationale, institutionelle und evolutionäre Wendungen der Wirtschaftsgeographie bis zum Konzept der Kontextualität, Pfadabhängigkeit und Kontingenz, und entwickelt die Konzeption der Regionalkapazität (regional capability). In einem Modell zu Path-Assets Analyse wird eine Regionalanalyse in relationaler-dynamischer Perspekte vorgeschlagen.
Anhand der zwei genannten Regionen Nordostchina und Yangtze Delta wird das Modell empirisch angewandt und getestet. Die Studie untersucht die beiden Regionen im Zeitraum 1978-2015. Sie basiert auf der Auswertung statistischer Sekundärdaten, offiziellen Planungsdokumenten, Experteninterviews und Beobachtungen während der eigenen Mitarbeit in Planungsprozessen in den beiden Regionen. Dabei werden eine mehrdimensionale Path-Assets Analyse auf die wirtschaftliche, soziokulturelle, ökologische und politisch-institutionelle Aspekte analysiert. Es zeigt sich, dass die Regionalentwicklung nicht nur auf die nationale Politik und Investitionen angewiesen ist, sondern ebenso auf endogene Impulse und Innovationen basiert, um die eigenen regionalen Assets aufrechtzuerhalten. Regionalen Governance und Planung können so effektive Instrumente sein für das Management und die Stärkung der Regionalkapazität.
Die vorgeschlagene Analyse ist ein capability-basierter interdisziplinärer Ansatz zur Regionalanalyse mit verbundene analytische Rahmen, bietet aber eine neue Perspektive für regionale Governance, die regionalen Planern, Wissenschaftlern und politischen Entscheidungsträgern erlaubt, die Capability einer Region in Bezug auf die Umsetzung einer nachhaltigen Entwicklung interdisziplinär und relational dynamisch zu analysieren, und eignet sich besonders für eine capability-basierte räumliche Analyse im Sinne einer Path-Assets Analyse unter einer relationalen dynamischen Perspektive. Sie kann auf breitere Forschungsfelder der Raumanalyse angewandt werden. Empfohlen wird eine Sechs-Schritt-Methodik. Die Studie leistet damit einen theoretischen Beitrag zur geographischen Entwicklungsforschung in Bezug auf Methodologien zu geographischen Raumanalysen in Verknüpfung mit aktuellen Debatten aus der Wirtschaftsgeographie.
ContentTable of Contents I
List of Tables VII
List of Figures IX
Abbreviations XIII
Summary XVI
Zusammenfassung XVII
Acknowledgements XVIII
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Research background and research questions 1
1.2 Research objective and arguments 3
1.3 Significance of the research 4
1.4 Organization of the thesis 5
2 Theoretical Framework 6
2.1 Multi-perspectival turns in economic geography 6
2.1.1 The relational perspective and the relational turn 7
2.1.2 The institutional perspective and the institutional turn 8
2.1.3 The evolutionary perspective and the evolutionary turn 10
2.1.4 Summary of the turns and a relational-dynamic perspective 12
2.2 Contextuality, path dependence and contingency 14
2.2.1 Contextuality 14
2.2.2 Path dependence 17
2.2.3 Contingency 18
2.2.4 Summary 18
2.3 Regional development and regional capability 19
2.3.1 Regional development: a relational-dynamic perspective 19
2.3.2 The concept of capabilities and the capability approach 20
(1) The concept of capabilities 20
(2) The capability approach 20
2.3.3 Regional capability 21
(1) Regional capabilities and dynamic capabilities 21
(2) Regional capability: definition and characteristics 22
(3) Regional assets 23
2.3.4 Summary 24
2.4 Regional governance: towards regional sustainability 25
2.4.1 Regional governance: a synergy of multi-level governance and multi-actor governance 25
2.4.2 Regional planning as governance 26
2.4.3 Regional governance and regional planning: towards regional sustainability 27
2.4.4 Summary 29
2.5 Concluding remarks on the theoretical framework 29
3 Analytical Framework, Methodology and Research Areas 31
3.1 Analytical framework and methodology 31
3.1.1 Research design and analytical framework 31
3.1.2 Methodology 32
3.2 Research areas 36
3.2.1 The Northeast (NE) 40
3.2.2 Yangtze River Delta (YRD) 42
4 Path-Assets Analysis I: Economic Dimension 44
4.1 Regional economy and structure 44
4.1.1 Gross regional product (GRP) 45
4.1.2 GRP per capita 46
4.1.3 GRP by three strata of industry 46
4.2 Employment and unemployment 47
4.2.1 Total number of employed persons 47
4.2.2 Employment by three strata of industry 48
4.2.3 Registered urban unemployment rate 49
4.3 Fixed asset investment (FAI) 50
4.3.1 Regional total FAI and its percentage to national total FAI 50
4.3.2 The percentage of FAI to GDP 51
4.3.3 FAI by sector 51
4.4 Government revenue 53
4.5 Transport 53
4.5.1 Length of railways and highways 54
4.5.2 Regional inland transport network density 56
4.5.3 Passenger and freight traffic 56
4.6 Foreign trade 58
4.6.1 Imports and exports 58
4.6.2 Foreign direct investment 59
4.7 Conclusion 61
5 Path-assets analysis II: Social-cultural Dimension 63
5.1 Population 63
5.1.1 Population at year-end 63
5.1.2 Natural growth rate and total fertility rate 64
5.1.3 Population density 65
5.1.4 Population change besides natural growth 65
5.1.5 Average life expectancy 66
5.1.6 Urbanization rate 66
5.1.7 Ethnic groups and religions 67
5.2 People’s living conditions 68
5.2.1 Average wage of staff and workers 68
5.2.2 Annual income per capita 69
5.2.3 Resident consumption per capita 70
5.2.4 Urban and rural consumption disparities and the average cost of living 71
5.2.5 Savings deposits of urban and rural residents per capita 72
5.3 Public health service 73
5.3.1 Total number of doctors 73
5.3.2 Number of doctors per 10000 persons 74
5.3.3 Total number of beds of health care institutions 74
5.3.4 Number of beds of health care institutions per 10000 persons 74
5.4 Education 74
5.4.1 Elementary education 74
5.4.2 Secondary education 76
5.4.3 Higher education 77
5.5 Science and technology: expenditures on R&D 78
5.6 Governmental financial funds on social-cultural expenditures: expenditures on education, science, culture and public health 79
5.7 Conclusion 80
6 Path-Assets Analysis III: Environmental Dimension 82
6.1 Historical context: the change in human-environment relationship in Maoist China (1949-1976) and its long-lasting effects on environmental degradation and pollution in China 82
6.1.1 The change in human-environment relationship in Maoist China (1949-1976) 82
6.1.2 The state of environmental degradation and pollution in China 82
6.1.3 Economic and social costs of environmental degradation and pollution in China 83
6.2 The environment of the NE 84
6.2.1 Geographical location and climate 84
6.2.2 Biome and ecosystem 86
6.2.3 Soil and agricultural conditions 88
6.2.4 Resource use 89
6.3 The environment of YRD 91
6.3.1 Geographical location and climate 91
6.3.2 Biome and ecosystem 92
6.3.3 Soil and agricultural conditions 93
6.3.4 Resource use 94
6.4 Quantitative environmental path-assets analysis of the NE and YRD 96
6.4.1 Forest 96
6.4.2 Natural reserves 97
6.4.3 Energy consumption 98
6.4.4 Air quality (main cities) 99
6.4.5 Water quality (key monitored sections of rivers and lakes) 103
6.4.6 Environmental accidents 106
6.4.7 Investment in pollution treatment 109
6.5 Conclusion 110
7 Path-Assets Analysis IV: Political-Institutional Dimension 113
7.1 Introduction to the political-institutional context in China: top-down versus bottom-up 114
7.1.1 One-party dominated top-down political system 114
7.1.2 Endogenous bottom-up power rescaling 116
7.2 Multilevel environmental governance in China: a political-historical perspective 118
7.2.1 The national-regional level 119
(1) Establishment of institutions for environmental governance 119
(2) Environmental regulation and policies 121
(3) Capacity, knowledge and technology 126
(4) Economic instruments and incentives 127
(5) Public participation and the role of non-state actors 129
7.2.2 The provincial level 133
7.2.3 The local level 136
7.3 Political-institutional path-assets analysis of the NE and YRD 140
7.3.1 The NE 140
(1) Environmental governance network of state actors 140
(2) SOE and environmental pollution accident 141
7.3.2 YRD 144
(1) Cooperation between provincial EPDs, local EPBs and environmental NGOs 144
(2) Dynamics of actors, actions and environmental accidents 145
7.4 Conclusion 148
8 Regional Planning: A Proposal for Regional Governance towards Regional Sustainability 152
8.1 Introduction: regional planning in China 152
8.1.1 Background: a historical overview of planning in China 152
(1) Center-led economic planning before 1978 152
(2) Territory planning from late 1970s to the beginning of the 1990s 153
(3) Urban planning since the 1990s 154
(4) A new era of development planning since the 2000s 155
8.1.2 Regional planning in China 156
(1) The evolution of regional planning in China: a historical perspective 156
(2) Regional planning as a guideline for national development 157
(3) The instrumentality of regional planning 158
8.1.3 Recent planning approaches 159
(1) Pilot projects of regional planning as bottom-up adjustment since 2006 159
(2) The Plan for Principal Function Zones since 2006 160
(3) Participatory planning processes 161
8.2 Case studies: regional planning practices of the NE and YRD 162
8.2.1 Regional planning practices of the NE 163
(1) Background: Northeast Phenomenon and revitalization of the NE 163
(2) The Plan of Revitalizing Northeast China 165
(3) Enthusiasm for planning after the Plan of Revitalizing Northeast China 166
8.2.2 Regional planning practices of YRD 168
(1) Background: endogenous inter-city cooperation in YRD since the 1980s 168
(2) Planning practices and policy consultancy before the YRD Regional Plan 169
(3) The YRD Regional Plan 172
8.2.3 Main findings of the case studies 173
8.3 Conclusion 174
9 Conclusion 176
9.1 Empirical results and implications of the case studies 176
9.1.1 Regional development of the NE 176
9.1.2 Regional development of YRD 178
9.1.3 The path-assets analysis of the NE and YRD 179
9.1.4 Regional development and governance in China 182
9.2 Reflections on regional capability as a theoretical approach of regional analysis 185
9.2.1 Regional capability: its origin, definition and characteristics 185
9.2.2 A rethink of regional capability as a theoretical approach for regional analysis: its applicability, limitation and contribution 186
9.3 Methodological application of the concept of regional capability 187
9.3.1 A six-step methodology for spatial analysis based on capability analysis 187
9.3.2 Methodological application of the six-step methodology: a scientific view 188
9.3.3 Methodological application of the six-step methodology in practice 189
9.4 Promoting regional capability towards regional sustainability in practice: future recommendations for the government on regional governance and planning in China 189
9.4.1 Increasing public participation in the governance and planning process 189
9.4.2 Reforming the performance evaluation system for government officials 190
9.4.3 Establishing a specific regional coordination institution at the national level 191
9.5 Open questions and further research directions 191
References 193
Curriculum Vitae 218
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PDF: Dissertation
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Number of pagesXVIII, 218 Seiten
FU DepartmentDepartment of Earth Sciences
Year of publication2016
Document typeDoctoral thesis
Media type/FormatText
LanguageEnglish
Terms of use/Rights Nutzungsbedingungen
Date of defense2016-07-14
Created at2016-07-15 : 08:32:31
Last changed2016-07-18 : 09:14:08
 
Static URLhttp://edocs.fu-berlin.de/diss/receive/FUDISS_thesis_000000102530
NBNurn:nbn:de:kobv:188-fudissthesis000000102530-3
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E-mail addressyan.germany@gmail.com