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‘Just Sustainability’ or Just Sustainability? Shanghai’s Failed Drive for Global Excellence

Xie, Lei, Zhang, Joy Y. (2021) ‘Just Sustainability’ or Just Sustainability? Shanghai’s Failed Drive for Global Excellence. Society & Natural Resources, . pp. 1-18. ISSN 0894-1920. (doi:10.1080/08941920.2020.1843745) (KAR id:84226)

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https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2020.1843745

Abstract

A persistent challenge to deliver a socially just and ecologically sustainable development for emerging cities in non-Western countries is that legitimacy and effectiveness often hinge on the normalizing effect of international ‘models’ and ‘standards’ defined by the developed countries. In cases such as Shanghai’s latest urban sustainability programme, a fixation on excelling at ‘global indicators’ has led its promises of inclusive social progress astray. We argue this is not simply because Shanghai authorities didn’t ‘get’ just sustainability, but highlights a more rooted subaltern anxiety that constrains their perceptions on how their programmes should be identified and delivered. Drawing on Bourdieu’s theorisation of how social agency’s ‘logic of practice’ is connected to their positions in the ‘field’, we investigate a shared epistemic deference among Shanghai experts and publics towards knowledge generated from international experiences. This has reproduced a marginalization of the subaltern public in the field of developing sustainable cities.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/08941920.2020.1843745
Uncontrolled keywords: just sustainability, urbanization, subaltern, field, Bourdieu, Shanghai
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Joy Y Zhang
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2020 08:29 UTC
Last Modified: 25 May 2021 07:39 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/84226 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Zhang, Joy Y.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0384-8376
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