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Homeowners of Beijing, Unite! The construction of a collective mobilisation

Aurore Merle
Translated by Will Thornely
p. 7-15


The move towards access to private homeownership represents a “revolution” in urban China during the reform era. New private residences not only symbolise “modernity”; they also set the scene for conflicts that pit homeowners, property developers, residents’ committees, and local authorities against one another. By studying the attempt to form a “federation” of homeowners’ committees in the city of Beijing, this article recounts and analyses the steps taken to construct a collective mobilisation, which involved the formation, in 2006, of an “application committee” requesting the creation of a federation of Beijing homeowners, the national petition launched in 2007 at the time of the debate on the Property Law (Wuquan fa), the organisation of “training classes” for homeowners in 2009, and the process of developing a new local regulation in Beijing in 2010.

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Electronic reference

Aurore Merle, « Homeowners of Beijing, Unite! The construction of a collective mobilisation », China Perspectives [Online], 2014/2 | 2014, Online since 01 January 2017, connection on 28 April 2017. URL :

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About the author

Aurore Merle

Aurore Merle is a researcher at the CEFC and Lecturer at the Sociology Department of Tsinghua University.CEFC, 20/F Wanchai Central Building, 89 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong (

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