Commodification of Tangjiajia and Sustainable Governance in Question

  • Mingrui ShenEmail author
Part of the Springer Geography book series (SPRINGERGEOGR)


This chapter examines the commodification process initiated through a series of state-led programs and questions the sustainable public goods provision in rural China. I challenge the unilateral understanding of spontaneous commodification by the profit-seeking community and argue that the influence exerted by the Chinese government cannot be ignored. It is found that a preliminary partnership among the state, private investors, and villagers was formed to create a hot spring village called Tangjiajia in suburban Nanjing. The reconstruction was the result of a state-led renovation of the built environment, but it also catalyzed villager entrepreneurship and boosted community consensus. Regarding the public goods provision, stakeholders in the village now enjoy high-quality facilities and services provided by the government for free but have failed to foster reciprocal cooperation to replenish the subtractability of the rural commons. It is claimed that state intervention is temporal but not a cure-all. A pricing mechanism for the sustainable delivery of public goods is urgently needed in the community. The state-led commodification has undermined the previous low-level equilibrium of rural governance. From the stance of rural sustainability, only self-organization of the rural community can solve the dilemma.


Rural commodification State-led program Sustainable governance Public goods China 


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© Science Press and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Architecture and Urban PlanningNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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