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Institutional change in market-liberal state capitalism. An integrative perspective on the development of the private business sector in China

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  • ten Brink, Tobias

Abstract

This paper shows that a more accurate depiction of the development of China's private sector is gained by considering the complex interaction between bottom-up and topdown processes. First, the paper analyzes the general characteristics of Chinese capitalism to help understand and classify the gradual institutional change in the enterprise sector. Second, it draws on insights from comparative political economy and new approaches in political science to introduce the strategy of 'wearing a red hat,' an empirical phenomenon that provides a framework for the emergence from the 1980s of China's private sector. This section also examines the closely interwoven relationships between private companies and the party-state that have taken place since the 1990s. Third, the paper indicates that focusing on state/capital relationships at different administrational levels contributes to a better understanding of China's private sector. It concludes that the development and success of the new private enterprises, which remained closely linked to the state, enabled the ruling elite to form and consolidate a hegemonic project that provided relative societal coherence on the often bumpy road to reform.

Suggested Citation

  • ten Brink, Tobias, 2011. "Institutional change in market-liberal state capitalism. An integrative perspective on the development of the private business sector in China," MPIfG Discussion Paper 11/2, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:112
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    1. Bob Jessop & Ngai-Ling Sum, 2006. "Beyond the Regulation Approach," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3606.
    2. Amable, Bruno, 2003. "The Diversity of Modern Capitalism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199261147.
    3. Krug, B. & Hendrischke, H., 2006. "Framing China: Transformation and Institutional Change," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2006-025-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
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