Disaggregating “China, Inc” - Explaining the Rise of Chinese State Capitalism


Tuesday, April 2, 2019, 12:00pm to 1:15pm


Starr Auditorium, Belfer Building, Floor 2.5, Harvard Kennedy School

When China joined the WTO in 2001, conventional wisdom held that global trade rules would provide a credible commitment to liberalization. While significant reforms did take place, scholars soon pointed to the emergence of a Chinese “state capitalism”. Why did the expansion of market-oriented institutions after WTO entry fail to constrain the subsequent rise of more interventionist developmental policies? What explains the timing of these non-linear policy trajectories? This analysis disaggregates the Chinese central state and unpacks the divergent strategies adopted by competing agencies in response to WTO entry.

Yeling Tan, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Oregon, will explain why the timing of this divergence turns on the durability of WTO commitments and the political relationship between China’s party and its state. She will argue that what emerged was an intensified dualism in Chinese economic governance, with intensified market competition promoted by one set of central agencies, yet a more consolidated industrial policy promoted by rival agencies. Tony Saich, Ash Center Director and Daewoo Professor of International Affairs, will moderate. Fairbank Logo

This event is cosponsored by Harvard's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. 

Lunch will be served. This event is open to the public, but seating is first come, first served. We recommend that you arrive 10-15 minutes early to grab your lunch and a seat. Discussion will begin promptly at noon.