Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Calculating Needs and Prescribing Properties: Chaiqian and the Commensuration of Value at Nanjing's Urban Edge

Calculating Needs and Prescribing Properties: Chaiqian and the Commensuration of Value at... This article examines how local governments calculate and allocate compensation to displaced peasants in demolition-relocation projects, known as chaiqian 拆迁 (demolition and relocation projects), at the urban edge of eastern Nanjing. Based on twenty months of ethnographic fieldwork, this article shows that, contrary to popular imaginings, chaiqian in Nanjing do not exclude peasants from urban development but seek to exploit the uneven urban and rural property regimes and bring rural spaces, including people, real estate, and crops, into the urban system. The government-developer growth coalition, motivated by real estate–driven urban expansion, engineers this process with the aid of calculative technologies and protocols of commensuration. Moreover, technocrats such as chaiqian cadres and urban planners can never fully translate rural real estate into monetary value. They have to constantly update and negotiate protocols of calculation with property-owning villagers to solve emerging issues of commensuration. The villagers, on the other hand, engage with these technologies of valuation to raise claims to a larger share of wealth in chaiqian compensation. Demolition and relocation projects thus are not merely the execution of a developmental ideal but assemble urban accumulation as an ongoing process of value translation and transformation. They also show how urban accumulation at the edge of eastern Nanjing is a contested hegemonic process. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions Duke University Press

Calculating Needs and Prescribing Properties: Chaiqian and the Commensuration of Value at Nanjing's Urban Edge

Loading next page...
 
/lp/duke-university-press/calculating-needs-and-prescribing-properties-chaiqian-and-the-xT15kbIOff
Copyright
Copyright 2022 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-9723698
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines how local governments calculate and allocate compensation to displaced peasants in demolition-relocation projects, known as chaiqian 拆迁 (demolition and relocation projects), at the urban edge of eastern Nanjing. Based on twenty months of ethnographic fieldwork, this article shows that, contrary to popular imaginings, chaiqian in Nanjing do not exclude peasants from urban development but seek to exploit the uneven urban and rural property regimes and bring rural spaces, including people, real estate, and crops, into the urban system. The government-developer growth coalition, motivated by real estate–driven urban expansion, engineers this process with the aid of calculative technologies and protocols of commensuration. Moreover, technocrats such as chaiqian cadres and urban planners can never fully translate rural real estate into monetary value. They have to constantly update and negotiate protocols of calculation with property-owning villagers to solve emerging issues of commensuration. The villagers, on the other hand, engage with these technologies of valuation to raise claims to a larger share of wealth in chaiqian compensation. Demolition and relocation projects thus are not merely the execution of a developmental ideal but assemble urban accumulation as an ongoing process of value translation and transformation. They also show how urban accumulation at the edge of eastern Nanjing is a contested hegemonic process.

Journal

positionsDuke University Press

Published: Aug 1, 2022

References