SEZ@40: Shenzhen as a New Global Development Model?

Shenzhen was declared China’s first special economic zone 40 years ago. Which path does the city take? What is its role as a development model today?

Image of a restaurant in Nansha, Guangzhou, China. Text in Chinese: The Greater bay Area walking Towards the World.

Design by Katharine Gill. Photo: Sean Foley, Unsplash.

International time: 22:00 Beijing, 15:00 Oslo, 09:00 Washington DC.

Sign-up for the seminar

The anniversary celebration of the Special Economic Zone lauded Shenzhen’s achievements and staked out new policies. Shenzhen, with its proximity to Hong Kong and reputation as a global tech hub, spearheads the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.

  • Book coversJuan Du will comment on the role of architecture and urban planning under the heading: The Critical Experiment of Shenzhen‒Demystifying China's "Instant City".
  • Kean Fan Lim will speak about economic and social policies in the city-region of Shenzhen under the heading: Becoming more 'special' than special: Policy experimentation in and through Shenzhen.

About the presenters and organizers

Juan Du

Portrait photo of Juan Do.
Juan Du.

Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture, Associate Dean (International and Mainland China Affairs), and Director of the Urban Ecologies Design Lab (UEDL) of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong. She holds a Doctorate of Science in Architecture from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), a degree of Master of Architecture from Princeton University and is the recipient of a US Fulbright Scholarship for her research on the transformations of the contemporary Chinese cities. Juan has previously taught architectural and urban design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Peking University.

Kean Fan Lim

Portrait photo of Kean Fan Lim.
Kean Fan Lim.

Senior Lecturer in Economic Geography at Newcastle University. His work on economic restructuring in East Asia examines how the economic and social policies of city-regions affect national developmental paths. Lim has published several journal articles on economic policy and regional development in China. He is the author of two monographs: An East Asian Challenge to Western Neoliberalism Critical Perspectives on the ‘China Model’ (Routledge, 2017, co-authored with economic historian Niv Horesh) and On Shifting Foundations: State Rescaling, Policy Experimentation and Economic Restructuring in Post-1949 China (John Wiley & Sons 2019).

Siv H. Oftedal

Dr Oftedal is a researcher at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, and will chair the seminar.

Heidi Østbø Haugen 

Haugen, professor of China Studies at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, hosts the seminar series. She heads the ERC-funded project Brokering China’s Extraversion: An Ethnographic Analysis of Transnational Arbitration (Brokex).

Other events in the Brokex Spring 2021 Seminar Series

New Type of Great Power Relations: Global Power and Chinese National Identity

Date and time: 3 March 2021. 22:00 (Beijing), 15:00 (Oslo), 09:00 (EST). Sign-up.

Manjari Chatterjee Miller: Why Nations Rise: Narratives and the Path to Great Power

Lina Benabdallah: Shaping the future of power.Knowledge Production and Network Building in China-Africa Relations.

Discussant: Ilaria Carrozza

Assembling the New China: Labor Brokerage

Date and time: 7 April 2021. 22:00 (Beijing), 15:00 (Oslo), 09:00 (EST). Sign-up.

Julia Chuang: Beneath the China Boom: Labor, Citizenship, and the Making of a Rural Land Market

Xinrong Ma: "Entrapment by Consent": The Co-ethnic Brokerage System among Ethnic Yi Labor

Discussant: Yunyun Zhou

Brokers of Aspirations: Education and Cosmopolitanism

Date and time: 5 May 2021. 22:00 (Beijing), 15:00 (Oslo), 09:00 (EST). Sign-up.

Shuning Liu: Neoliberalism, Globalization, and "Elite" Education in China: Becoming International

Bingyu Wang: New Chinese Migrants in New Zealand: Becoming Cosmopolitan? Roots, Emotions, and Everyday Diversity

Discussant: Yi’En Cheng


Heidi Østbø Haugen


Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages

The seminar is organized as part of the project Brokering China’s Extraversion: An Ethnographic Analysis of Transnational Arbitration (Brokex). The project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 802070).

EU- and ERC-logos


Published Jan. 20, 2021 3:24 PM - Last modified Feb. 1, 2021 7:00 PM