Beyond the Middle Kingdom: Comparative Perspectives on China's Capitalist Transformation


Scott Kennedy (ed.)

Contemporary Issues in Asia and the Pacific


Stanford: Stanford University Press

Available From: Stanford University Press
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8047-6958-7
Binding: paper
Pages: 256


Beyond the Middle Kingdom: Comparative Perspectives on China's Capitalist Transformation is the nineteenth title in the East-West Center book series, Contemporary Issues in Asia and the Pacific, published by Stanford University Press.

This book breaks new ground by systematically examining China's capitalist transformation through several comparative lenses. The great majority of research on China to date has consisted of single-country studies. This is the result of the methodological demands of studying China and a sense of the country's distinctiveness due to its grand size and long history. The moniker Middle Kingdom, a direct translation of the Chinese-language word for China, is one of the most prominent symbols of the country's supposed uniqueness.

Composed of contributions from leading specialists on China's political economy, this volume demonstrates the benefits of systematically comparing China with other countries, including France, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, India, Brazil, and South Africa. Doing so puts the People's Republic in a light not available through other approaches, and it provides a chance to consider political theories by including an important case too often left out of studies.

Scott Kennedy is Associate Professor, Departments of East Asian Languages & Cultures and Political Science, and Director, Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business, Indiana University. He is author of The Business of Lobbying in China (Harvard University Press, 2005) and editor of China Cross Talk: The American Debate over China Policy Since Normalization, A Reader (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003). His current research projects are on the growing role of Chinese industry and government in global governance and on the evolution of corporate political activity in China.


Details and ordering information at
Stanford University Press

List of Figures and Tables
  1. Overcoming Our Middle Kingdom Complex: Finding China's Place in Comparative Political Economy
    Scott Kennedy

  2. Variety Within and Without: The Political Economy of Chinese Regulation
    Margaret M. Pearson
  3. Developmental Dreams: Policy and Reality in China's Economic Reforms
    Arthur R. Kroeber
  4. Crossing the River by Feeling for Stones or Carried Across by the Current? The Transformation of the Chinese Automotive Sector
    Andrew Wedeman
  5. Welfare Policy Pathways Among Large Uneven Developers
    Mark W, Frazier

  6. Fragmented Influence: Business Lobbying in China in Comparative Perspective
    Scott Kennedy
  7. Comparing China's Capitalists: Neither Democratic Nor Exceptional
    Kellee S. Tsai
  8. When Are Banks Sold to Foreigners? An Examination of the Politics of Selling Banks in Mexico, Korea, and China
    Victor Shih

  9. Placing China in Comparison: An Outsider's Perspective
    Gregory F. Kasza
List of Contributors


"With the advent of this volume, the literature of contemporary Chinese political economy no longer stands alone, but rather is duly blended into the mainstream studies of comparative political economy. Contributors to this volume methodically revisit salient issues of post-Mao Chinese development and masterfully compare them with those in carefully chosen reference societies on many analytical templates. Innovative and insightful."

--Tun-jen Cheng, Class of 1935 Professor, College of William and Mary


"An impressive and most welcome effort to bring China into comparative analysis. This volume will be welcomed by both China specialists and others interested more broadly in the comparative political economy of development."

--Richard F. Donner, Professor of Political Science, Emory University