Manipulating Globalization: The Influence of Bureaucrats on Business in China

Ling Chen, Assistant Professor, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

4:30pm | Perelman Center for Political Science & Economics, Rm 100, 133 S. 36th St.

Although China is a global manufacturing titan, the "made in China" model has begun to wane. Starting in the 2000s, China shifted from attracting foreign investment to promoting domestic firms. This shift led city bureaucrats to compete for funding and tax breaks to benefit their business clients. While bureaucrats in some cities successfully motivated local businesses to upgrade, others deprived businesses of their developmental space. With 18 months of in-depth interviews, original surveys, and quantitative data, Chen argues that this regional variation is rooted in how foreign firms strengthened or weakened vested interest coalitions and the historical patterns of local capitalism. She advances a new theory to explain the implementation of economic policies in China and other emerging economies that comprise the new "globalized" generation.​