Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (4): 688-700.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201804008

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Geographical prospects of spatial governance through a review on administrative divisions

WANG Kaiyong(),CHEN Tian   

  1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2018-01-30 Online:2018-04-20 Published:2018-04-10
  • Supported by:
    [Foundation: National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41471126]


Administrative division research has become one of the most important parts in human-economic geography, which is closely related with studies on political geography, historical geography, and urban geography. The new argument that administrative division itself can be seen as a resource, which is of great significance to understanding and exerting the effect of administrative divisions in spatial governance and optimization of regional development pattern. Based on the review of the development of administrative division research, three predominant directions should be centered in the future research, that is, optimizing and enhancing regional management efficiency, protecting regional governance security and improving precision management of administrative regions. Starting from the modernization of national governance and governance capacity, the important research direction of administrative divisions was discussed in three points: (1) the optimization of managerial hierarchy and scope of jurisdiction can improve spatial governance efficiency; (2) dividing a large-scale and economically developed province into small part can guarantee spatial governance security; (3) reasonable scope of jurisdiction and establishment of grass-roots administrative divisions can enhance spatial governance precision. Appropriate adjustment of administrative divisions have helped to improve spatial governance, and provided a policy support for building a spatial governance system suitable to China's national conditions.

Key words: administrative divisions, geographical explanation, spatial governance, national governance system, prospect