This course explores processes of development in Asia, with a focus on the urban settings. We will examine urban development at different times and places by exploring a series of debates and case studies. Our approach is interdisciplinary: we draw on insights and perspectives offered by anthropology, sociology, geography, history and cultural studies, and our inquiries are informed by various social theories, analytical concepts, case studies and research methods.
This course starts with some key concepts and analytical framework (Part I). In Part II, we will move back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and investigate how different forms of power regime and ideology had reshaped urban landscape and social structures. In Part III, we examine recent urban transformations shaped by a different set of values and power networks that are usually related to globalization and neoliberalism. Throughout the course, we look at cases from different Asian cities. Meanwhile, we use Hong Kong and your own cities as laboratories – to integrate the analytical tools, critical perspectives and research methods into clear analytic presentations with possible implications for social activism, planning, and policy making.