Making an Urban Ecotopia in China: Knowledge, Power, and Governmentality

  • Lili Wang
  • Xiaoling Zhang


Wang employs Foucault’s governmentality framework to problematize the making of an urban ecotopia in China, using the International Low-Carbon City in Shenzhen as a case study. Following earlier scholars writing about eco-governmentality, Wang tries to interrogate three questions. Firstly, what are the underlying mentalities that underpin and condition the growing eco-city movement in China in the past decade? Secondly, how to characterize the specific visions of eco-ness and sustainable development that are promoted in current discourses and practices of eco-city building in China? And if there is a gap between rhetoric and reality, how to account for it? Thirdly, how to understand the power dynamics embodied in the discourses and practices of eco-cities in China?



This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71834005, 71673232). The work described in this paper was also substantively supported by the grants from the Research Grant Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative region, China (Project No: CityU 11271716 and CityU 21209715).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lili Wang
    • 1
  • Xiaoling Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Public PolicyCity University of Hong KongKowloon TongHong Kong
  2. 2.Shenzhen Research InstituteCity University of Hong KongShenzhenPeople’s Republic of China

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