1st Edition

Post-Politics and Civil Society in Asian Cities Spaces of Depoliticisation

Edited By Sonia Lam-Knott, Creighton Connolly, Kong Chong Ho Copyright 2020
    188 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    188 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Bringing together an interdisciplinary group of scholars, Post-Politics and Civil Society in Asian Cities examines how the concept of ‘post-politics’ has manifested across a range of Asian cities, and the impact this has had on state-society relationships in processes of urban governance.

    This volume examines how the post-political framework—derived from the study of Western liberal democracies—applies to Asian cities. Appreciating that the region has undergone a distinctive trajectory of political development, and is currently governed under democratic or authoritarian regimes, the book articulates how post-political conditions have created obstacles or opportunities for civil society to assert its voice in urban governance. Chapters address the different ways in which Asian civil society groups strive to gain a stake in the development and management of cities, specifically by looking at their involvement in heritage and environmental governance, two inter-related components in discourses about establishing liveable cities for the future.

    By providing in-depth case studies examining the varying degrees to which post-political ideologies have been enacted in urban governance across Central, South, Southeast, and East Asia, this book offers a useful and timely resource for students and scholars interested in urban studies, political science, Asian studies, geography, and sociology.

    Introduction: Theorising the post-political in Asian cities Sonia Lam-Knott, Creighton Connolly, And Kong Chong Ho 

    PART I  Post-political governance in Asia 

    1. A return to the political?: Civil society and post-politics in authoritarian regimes David Matijasevich 

    2. Managing grievances in the age of post-politics: The relocation of communities for the Thilawa Special Economic Zone in Myanmar Tamas Wells 

    3. Emerging post-political city in Seoul U-Seok Seo

    4. Back to the land: Post-political utopias of organic living Karl Beelan 

    PART II  Post-politics in heritage governance 

    5. Between state and society: Heritage politics in urban China Yujie Zhu 

    6. ‘Connecting emotions through wells’: Heritage instrumentalisation, civic activism and urban sustainability in Quanzhou, China Yunci Cai 

    PART III Post-politics in environmental governance 

    7. Constructing space for participatory governance in Vietnam: Reflections from the Hanoi tree movement Seohee Kwak 

    8. Environmental civil activism in Central Asia: Emerging civil society governance and fragile relations with the state Reina Artur Kyzy 

    9. Post-political planning and insurgent mobilisation in the post-disaster city: The experience of Tacloban city, Philippines after typhoon Haiyan Dakila Kim P. Yee 


    Sonia Lam-Knott was a postdoctoral fellow in the Asian Urbanisms Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. She received her DPhil in anthropology from the University of Oxford in 2015, for her research on youth activism in Hong Kong. Her research explores the socio-political ambiguities in post-1997 Hong Kong, viewed through the lens of heritage politics, nostalgia, and vernacular experiences of the city. She has published in journals such as Asian Anthropology, Anthropology Matters, and Urban Studies, as well as in edited volumes.

    Creighton Connolly is a lecturer in the School of Geography, University of Lincoln (UK), focussing on development studies and the Global South. He is an urban political ecologist by training, having received his PhD in geography from the University of Manchester, where he was a member of the European Network of Political Ecology (ENTITLE). His research focuses primarily on contestations over urban (re)development and environmental governance in peninsular Malaysia. He has published this work in numerous journals, including the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR), Cultural Geographies, and Geoforum.

    Kong Chong Ho was trained as an urban sociologist at the University of Chicago, and his research interests lie in neighbourhood and community development, heritage and place-making, the political economy of cities, and a more recent interest in higher education. He has produced edited volumes such as Service Industries and Asia Pacific Cities (2012, with Peter Daniels and Tom Hutton), and Advancing the Regional Commons in the New East Asia (2016, with Siriporn Wajjwalku and Osamu Yoshida). Forthcoming publications include Neighbourhoods for the City in Pacific Asia (2019).