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Translating China’s Special Economic Zone ‘Model’ into Rural Southern India: Impacts on Urban Development

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Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal China Pulse
Published13 Jul 2022


King's Authors


This essay explores the impacts of trying to import a Chinese ‘model’ of special economic zones (SEZs) into southern India. Inspired by China’s SEZ success, from 2005, India set up large, city-style zones. Based on in-depth examination of one such zone, we argue the Chinese SEZ ‘model’ is not a coherent strategy, but an amorphous mix of policies and practices imported by multiple actors at multiple levels. We show how the ‘model’ interacts with local Indian contexts to create new, uneven forms of urban experience, particularly for local villagers and migrant workers, rather than any straightforward ‘replication’ of China’s path.

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