[CSH-CPR Urban Workshop #167] The Landlord State: Land Allocation as a Tool of Industrial Policy in China (S. Wilson)

[CSH-CPR Urban Workshop #167] The Landlord State: Land Allocation as a Tool of Industrial Policy in China (S. Wilson)

Event Details

The Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) & Centre for Policy Research (CPR)

are pleased to invite you to an Urban Workshop (n°167)



(Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Ashoka University)


The Landlord State:

Land Allocation as a Tool of Industrial Policy in China


Tuesday, 30 January 2024, at 3:45 pm IST onwards

The event will be held in the CPR conference room and over Zoom: 
Register to attend In-Person: CLICK HERE
Register to attend on Zoom: CLICK HERE

The session will also be live-streamed on the CPR Facebook page.

In case of any issues and for queries, please email: urbanization@cprindia.org


About talk: States routinely intervene in the pricing and allocation of capital and labor when engaging in industrial policy. Drawing on evidence from China, where a landlord state imposed a state monopoly on urban land, this paper shows how interventions in the pricing and allocation of land can also be put into the service of industrial policy. Much like other tools of industrial policy, state pricing and allocation of land requires a strong state, manifested through state building efforts to impose control over land resources. In the case of China, these state building efforts spurred a broad growth coalition, spanning local governments, real estate developers, urban homeowners, and ultimately even peri-urban villagers; the political breadth of this growth coalition ultimately redirected the landlord state away from its industrial policy origins and towards frenetic real estate investment.


Saul Wilson studies Chinese politics and urban politics. His research examines how China became addicted to land, showing how the Chinese state sought to establish itself as a monopolist “landlord state.”  He has written on the politics of urban development and land property rights during China’s rapid urbanization. His broader research agenda explores municipal politics in China, seeking to understand how leadership and institutions have shaped local politics.  You can read more about his research at http://www.saul-wilson.com/. He completed his Ph.D. in Government (2022) from Harvard, having previously received his S.B. in Mathematics and Asian & Asian Diaspora Studies (2014) and his S.M. in Urban Studies and Planning (2016) from MIT.

This is the hundred and sixty-seven (167) in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Stéphanie Tawa Lama of CSH at tawalama@ehess.frMukta Naik at mukta@cprindia.org or Marie-Hélène Zerah at marie-helene.zerah@ird.fr

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