New Narratives of Urban Space in Republican Chinese Cities

Emerging Social, Legal and Governance Orders

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The nine empirical studies in New Narratives of Urban Space in Republican Chinese Cities, organized under the general framework of urban space, examine three critical dimensions of the great urban transformation in Republican China—social, legal and governance orders. Together these narratives suggest a new perception of this historical urbanism.
While modern economic development was a major drive for Chinese urban transformation, this volume highlights the dimension of the multilayered forces that shape urban space by looking into that less quantifiable, but equally important cultural realm and by exposing the ways in which these forces created new urban narratives, which became themselves shapers of urban space and of our perception of the Republican urbanity.

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Billy K. L. So (PhD, Australian National University, 1983) is Chair Professor of Humanities at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He published extensively on Chinese legal and business history including Prosperity, Region, and Institutions in Maritime China (Harvard, 2000).

Madeleine Zelin (PhD, University of California at Berkeley, 1979) is Dean Lung Professor of Chinese Studies at Columbia University. She has published extensively on Chinese economic and legal history, including The Merchants of Zigong, Industrial Entrepreneurship in Early Modern China (Columbia, 2005).
"The chapters reveal trends that complicate the quest to locate Habermasian public spaces in the volatile urban formations of a politically fragmented and conflict-ridden nation."
Brian Tsui, The Australian National University, New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies 15.2 (December 2013)
Chapter 1 Urban Space in Republican Chinese Cities as Seen Through Cultural Narratives: A Prologue
    Billy K.L. So and Madeleine Zelin

Part 1. Social Order
Chapter 2 Changing Spaces and Civilized Weddings in Republican China
    Antonia Finnane
Chapter 3 City-building, the New Life Movement, and the "Making of the Citizen" in 1930s Nanchang
    Federica Ferlanti
Chapter 4 Wartime Refugee Relief in Chinese Cities and Women's Political Activism, 1937-1940
    Harriet Zurndorfer

Part 2. Law and Order
Chapter 5 Unorganized Crime: Forgers, Soldiers, and Shopkeepers in Beijing, 1927, 1928
    Brett Sheehan
Chapter 6 The Ordering of Crime in Republican Beijing from the 1910s to the 1930s
    Michael Hoi Kit Ng
Chapter 7 Dangerous Cities: Judicial Authorities, Criminologists, and the Perception of Crime Zones in 1920s and 1930s China
    Jan Kiely

Part 3. Goverance Order
Chapter 8 British Concessions and Chinese Cities, 1910-1930s
    Robert Bickers
Chapter 9 Provincializing the City: Canton and the Reshaping of Guangdong Provincial Administration, 1912-1937
    John Fitzgerald
Chapter 10 Xi'an, 1900-1940: From Isolated Backwater to Resistance Center
    Pierre-Etienne Will
All those interested in the modern transformation of Chinese cities and their urban cultures, including new approaches to social life, law and crime, and urban governance.
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