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The Australian National University
Carolyn Cartier

Professor Carolyn Cartier

Adjunct Director

PhD (Geography), University of California, Berkeley
MA (Geography), University of California, Berkeley
AB (Geography, High Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa), University of California, Berkeley

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Carolyn Cartier is Professor of  Human Geography and China Studies in the School of International Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is an Adjunct Director of the Australian Centre on China in the World, co-leading the China Urban research stream. Carolyn’s research focuses on the role of the state in urban transformation in China including how the government makes territorial changes to establish and expand cities; China’s National Civilized City Program and urban governmentality, and urban spatial restructuring for consumerism. She is particularly happy when working on the aesthetics of politics and alternative art on themes of social life in the city. She is also an associate editor for Eurasian Geography and Economics.

Other Languages

  • Intermediate Chinese
  • Basic Cantonese
  • French

Research Interests

  • Social theory and China
  • Comparative urban transformation
  • Governmentality and the Chinese city
  • Urban politics and alternative art
  • Urban restructuring and consumer culture
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Current Projects

  • Territorial urbanization and the administrative divisions
  • Regional governmentality and urban and regional change
  • The civilised city
  • Aesthetics of politics and Hong Kong
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PhD Students

  • Miguel Hidalgo Martinez, Urban development in Chongqing
  • Vivien Chan, Women bankers in China and Australia
  • Zhang Yichi, Public parks in 19th century China
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Selected Publications

Contributions to The China Story

‘Making Capitalism in Rural China: A Review’ 2013

‘Symbolic Cities and the “Cake Debate”’ with L. Tomba in Geremie R. Barmé with Jeremy Goldkorn, Carolyn Cartier and Gloria Davies eds, China Story Yearbook 2012: Red Rising Red Eclipse, Canberra: Australian Centre on China in the World, 2012, online at:
‘Building Civilised Cities’ in G. R. Barmé and J. Goldkorn, eds., China Story Yearbook 2013: Civilising China, Canberra: Australian Centre on China in the World, 2013, online at:

‘The territorial city’, 2013, online at:


Forthcoming, ‘Governmentality and the urban economy: consumption, excess and the “civilized city” in China’ in E. Jeffreys and D. Bray, eds., New Mentalities of Governance in China

‘Image, precariousness and the logic of cultural production in Hong Kong,’ PORTAL: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, 9(2012): 1-19

‘Neoliberalization in the neoauthoritarian city in China – Contexts and research directions, Urban Geography, 33 (2011): 1110-1121

‘State formation and comparative area studies – between globalization and
territorialization,’ The Journal of Asian Studies, 70(2011): 965-70

‘Origins and evolution of a geographical idea: The ‘macroregion’ in China,’ Modern China, 28 (2002): 79-143.

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Updated:  12 May 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, China in the World /Page Contact:  China in the World