Grid governance in China's urban middle-claß neighbourhoods

Beibei Tang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the so-called grid governance scheme, a widely used graßroots governance strategy implemented in urban China in recent years. Drawing on data collected in multiple cities from 2011 to 2016, it analyses in what ways, and to what extent, the state employs the grid governance scheme to resolve neighbourhood conflicts and reinforce governance in Chinese urban middle-claß neighbourhoods. The findings highlight complex interactions under the scheme among the residents, the state and market actors in neighbourhood governance, including the resident volunteers, residents' social groups, residents' committees and property management companies. By coopting middle-claß resident volunteers, maximizing the existing political influence of the retired urban elites, and establishing Party organizations in middle-claß residential communities, the grid governance scheme has become a major vehicle for resident mobilization and conflict resolution, and a key governance mechanism to reinforce the Party's leadership in middle-claß neighbourhoods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-61
Number of pages19
JournalChina Quarterly
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • China
  • Party building
  • grid governance
  • middle claß
  • neighbourhood governance
  • resident mobilization

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