Tropical Geography


Research on Shenzhen-Hong Kong Cross-Boundary Regional Collaborative Development from the Perspective of Cross-Boundary Governing Network

Yun Li1,2(), Fengqian Shen1, Xiaoyuan Shen1, Chunlan Guo3()   

  1. 1.School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
    2.State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Building and Urban Science, Guangzhou 510640, China
    3.Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
  • Received:2023-05-12 Revised:2023-09-28 Online:2023-12-07
  • Contact: Chunlan Guo;


In the context of globalization, cross-boundary regions have become strategic areas for improving national competitiveness and promoting local development. Moreover, cross-boundary governance has gradually become a key issue in regional integration research. Recently, with the increasing trend of anti-globalization, exploring regional governance transformation is crucial for national development. This article conceptualizes a research framework that is a cross-boundary governing network based on policy network theory. It is believed that in cross-boundary governance, various state actors based on common development goals form multi-level and systematic state communities under the restructuring of state capacity while working together to promote cross-boundary regional development. Among them, economic territorialization and state capacity are the key to understanding this concept. Furthermore, under the institutional framework of "one country, two systems," an empirical study was conducted using the Shenzhen Hong Kong cross-boundary region as an example, highlighting the close relationship between the process of economic territorialization and the construction of the cross-boundary governing network. This study explored the operational methods of cross-boundary governing network, and further analyzed the impact of state-society paradigms on the operation of cross-boundary governing network under asymmetric governance. Research has proven that the cross-boundary governing network is a resilient governance mechanism for understanding the process of government-led institutional integration in cross-boundary areas. The new framework also contributes to the policy network as follows: First, the new conceptual framework is more likely to be understood as a complex, multi-type mixed network that is used to overcome the problem of the limited applicability and oversimplification of ideal policy network typologies in practice. It helps to understand the connection between the state-led decision-making process and the state-society interaction process. Second, it is configured on a logical need to contextualize the policy network to the broader and everchanging meso-level territorial scales within which state actors are defined and located within different state-society relations. Third, the factors of "resource" and "power," which are the functional core of the policy network, have yet to be fully defined with little consensus. The "new" will be centered on the configuration and realization of the state capacity of involved state actors as the bridging role of both meso-level networks. Furthermore, the "general-purpose" and "task-specific" components inherent in the multilevel governance approach are adopted to describe different systematic state communities. Meanwhile, the inter-actor idea of an "advocacy coalition" is also incorporated to understand the consensus-forming process within the intra-territorial network. Under the dynamic construction of the cross-boundary governing network, this multi-level and systematic governance approach will continuously deepen the development of Shenzhen Hong Kong cross-boundary cooperation, to make a theoretical contribution to cross-boundary synergistic development in other regions.

Key words: cross-boundary governing network, economic territorialization, regional collaborative development, Shenzhen-Hong Kong cooperation

CLC Number: 

  • D630