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ItemConclusion : capitalism in the dragon's lair(London: New York: Routledge, 2008)If we step back and consider China's rapid international ascent within the confines of the world's past 300 years of history, some intriguing parallels emerge. China's rise appears in many ways to be propelled by the same historical forces associated with the climb to international prominence of other great powers. Although each of these industrial powers charted its own course, buffeted by different historical and social currents, they all undertook a form of capitalist development. China today is undoubtedly in the midst of such capitalist development. As noted in Chapter 2, this process is most fundamentally driven by the inherent human tendency to seek gain and accumulate capital. While this tendency exposes capitalism's less savory facets, from avarice to crass materialism, it also motivates diligence, thrift, and, perhaps most profoundly, human creativity. Of course, capitalism is in general distinguished by the rise of market institutions to organize the supply of our basic (and not-so-basic) livelihoods. Ultimately, though, a political vantage point is perhaps the least understood and yet the most salient for developing countries. The unique historical process of capitalism is characterized by the rise of capital-owning social strata to economic, social, and political prominence. At first these social groups avoid, then cooperate, engage, and compete with state elites. If a capitalist transition proceeds, the increasing power of capital can balance the state's coercive means, establishing constitutional limits that assure the security of property rights and the predictability of economic rules. While China is in the midst of a capitalist transition, the specific processes unfolding are often unmatched in speed and scale. In comparison to earlier instances of capitalist accumulation, China seems to be doing everything simultaneously in a much more condensed time frame.
ItemThe institutional contours of China’s emergent capitalism(London: New York: Routledge, 2008)This chapter will undertake a more expansive analysis. It will map the unique institutional arrangements permeating China's budding capitalism. The focus will rest particularly on how state and capital institutionally interact and shape China's political economy. The next section will briefly introduce the conceptual approach taken in this chapter - the capitalist institutional lens. I will then elucidate what I hold are the three most salient institutional contours of China's emergent capitalism: "network capitalism"; the rapid absorption of China into the "new global capitalismn; and the distinctive role of state institutions in China's capitalist development. In the concluding remarks I will comment on China's long historical trajectory and argue that contemporary statecapital relations possess certain parallels to those characterizing China's imperial political economy over the past 1,000 years. However, due to the contemporary international environment this historical trajectory is likely to be broken.
ItemReflections on capitalism and China’s emergent political economy(London: New York: Routledge, 2008)The purpose of this chapter is to delve deeper into the general nature and logic of capitalism and in this manner provide a benchmark for evaluating China's emergent political economy. Put differently, this chapter will work toward a working defmition of capitalism that is both fundamental and precise. This defmition can then serve as a measuring stick to judge the progress of China's capitalist transition and elucidate what some of its basic properties are. In the conclusion I will further suggest how applying the capitalist lens can provide new insights on the present and future of China's monumental transformation.
ItemIntroduction : the China impact(London: New York: Routledge, 2008)Of all the competing forecasts for the 21st century, most agree that China's international ascent will have a defining impact. Nonetheless, most serious forecasts seem at a loss concerning how to capture the exact nature of this impact. China's ascent might be the harbinger of international turbulence, or portend the rise of a vast consumer market, ushering in a new era of global prosperity. Whatever view one might lean toward, China's impact will spring from the massive transformations its political economy is experiencing. Analyzing these transformations is the purpose of this volume. We will explore the domestic origins of China's emergent political economy and its global ramifications.