>

The Social Governance Community in Transforming Neighborhoods: A Spatial Reconstruction Perspective

Social Sciences in China, 2020

Vol. 41, No. 3, 2020

 

The Social Governance Community in Transforming Neighborhoods: A Spatial Reconstruction Perspective

(Abstract)

 

Zeng Weihe

 

The strategies of rapid urbanization and rural revitalization have fostered the emergence of transforming neighborhoods. Using a framework integrating multiple spatial attributes that embeds the administrative nature of space in its social nature and raises the level of its governance, this paper provides theoretical generalizations for the social governance communities of transforming neighborhoods on the basis of a typology that divides them into four types: social governance communities of individually constructed neighborhoods, social governance communities in post-demolition constructed neighborhoods, social governance communities in immigrant constructed neighborhoods, and social governance communities in collectively constructed neighborhoods. Social governance communities of transforming neighborhoods emerge in the course of spatial reconstruction and redevelopment of production. At the stage of space reconstruction, the administrative nature of space plays its part in developing differentiated spatial governance features, while the social nature of space takes effect through the establishment of four types of social governance community social networks: the loosely connected network, the multiple components network, the close interest network and the highly associated network. At the stage of space production, the social nature of space is embedded in governance and takes effect through the integration of top-down administrative control and bottom-up resident autonomy. Consequently, we see the generation of four governance strategies of administration that adjust the autonomy of social governance communities: “control—superficial governance,” “guidance— deliberative governance,” “support—collaborative governance,” and “leading—governance by the people.” In terms of theory, this study conducts a theoretical dialogue with the existing “controlled autonomy” and “autonomy with administrative elimination,” and in terms of practice, it has implications for strengthening popular rule by neighborhood social governance communities and filling the ability gap in such communities.

 

Keywords: spatial reconstruction, transforming neighborhood, social governance community, governance effectiveness