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By Scott Kennedy

This publication breaks new floor via systematically studying China's capitalist transformation via a number of comparative lenses. the good majority of study on China thus far has consisted of single-country reviews. this can be the results of the methodological calls for of learning China and a feeling of the country's area of expertise as a result of its grand dimension and lengthy background. The moniker heart nation, an instantaneous translation of the Chinese-language observe for China, is among the so much famous symbols of the country's intended uniqueness.Composed of contributions from prime experts on China's political financial system, this quantity demonstrates some great benefits of systematically evaluating China with different international locations, together with France, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, India, Brazil, and South Africa. Doing so places the People's Republic in a gentle no longer to be had via different ways, and it presents an opportunity to think about political theories by way of together with a major case too usually omitted of reviews.

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Additional info for Beyond the Middle Kingdom: Comparative Perspectives on China's Capitalist Transformation (Contemporary Issues in Asia and Pacific)

Sample text

Having argued for the benefits of comparison, the next step is to identify the range of comparative frameworks we can use. Comparative scholarship on Chinese politics has most often adopted one of four lenses. The first places China in the context of other (former) Communist countries, with the greatest attention paid to Russia, to understand similarities and differences in their transition away from state socialism. Since the late 1980s, leaving aside a few exceptions, the world’s Communist countries have abandoned central planning in favor of fundamental market reforms.

Efforts to improve corporate governance through corporatization of state enterprises has proceeded with some success in the past decade. 18 At a minimum, its members retain veto power over appointments and major policy decisions. These supraregulatory institutions can easily justify their involvement in regulatory activities because they retain ultimate responsibility for overall economic performance of the economy and its most strategic sectors. Moreover, they are the source of policy goals that must be implemented by Â�regulators—a function that in Western economies is often served by national legislatures.

Finally, a country’s position in the global economy shapes its policy options and their efficacy. As a late-late developer, China does not have the luxury of unfettered access to technology and markets that the United States felt more comfortable providing Japan during the Cold War; hence, it has had to be much more open to foreign direct investment. At the same time, the changing cost structure of production has generated opportunities for China to attract investment and its accompanying technology not available to others.

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