Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Political Science

Major Professor

Dajin Peng, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Steven Roach, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Solomon, Ph.D.


Development, Globalization, China, City, Urbanization, Shanghai, Tianjin


Development is one of the most debated issues in political science today. There has never been a clear consensus reached on what is one successful path to developmental success for nations to follow. Organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and already developed nations have long touted a policy based on rapid privatization, which has been often referred to as shock therapy.

During this current period of globalization it has never been more important for underdeveloped nations to successfully move towards development, in order for those nations to not be left behind in an ever increasing interconnected world economy. Shock therapy has not worked for many of these underdeveloped nations and there is a need for a new model of development. The recent enormous success of economic liberalization policies in China may serve as the new key to developmental success. A great deal of the new economic policies first implemented under Deng Xiaoping have been mostly aimed at coastal Chinese cities, which has allowed China to gain a foothold in the global economy without shock therapy.

Since the late 1970s the Chinese government has attempted to move from a completely state planned economy to a more liberalized market system at a controlled pace. The Chinese government has been able to successfully accomplish this through the concentration of policies to coastal and large, strategic cities such as Tainjin, Shanghai, Beijing among a number of other cities. This has allowed China to become an active, important player in the world economy without the hard to control rapid privatization that usually comes with development.

The main argument of this work is that city level development could serve as the new key to successful development. China has established a model that other nations may be able to follow more easily than shock therapy.

I will use the cities of Shanghai and Tianjin to illustrate how the new economic policies have in certain cities has allowed China to gain a foot hold in the world economy.