East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

East Asia Workshop: 1/9, Dali Yang, “China’s Illiberal Regulatory State in Comparative Perspective”


East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents


China’s Illiberal Regulatory State in Comparative Perspective”


Dali Yang

Professor of Political Science

University of Chicago


4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

*Light refreshments will be provided*



This study reviews the development of Chinese regulation against the history of the development of the regulatory state in the West. Section One discusses the rise of the regulatory state in western democracies in an age of concern about state expansion. It notes that, generally speaking, the regulatory state in a liberal democratic setting has become accepted as enabling liberal democracies to combine democratic legitimacy with the independence and professionalism of unelected regulatory bodies. Section Two offers a quick overview of the establishment and proliferation of regulatory institutions in China in the context of continued single Party rule and strong state dominance. Section Three delineates the politics of changes to the regulatory regime from the perspective of political risk and points to dynamics that are animating regulatory state building with Chinese characteristics, with special reference to environmental regulation. Section Four concludes.

About the Speaker

Dali L. Yang is the William Claude Reavis Professor in the Department of Political Science and the College and Senior Advisor to the President and the Provost on Global Initiatives at the University of Chicago. Between 2010 and June 2016, he served as the founding Faculty Director of the University of Chicago Center in Beijing, a university-wide initiative to promote collaboration and exchange between UChicago scholars and students and their Chinese counterparts. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Professor Yang’s research is focused on the politics of China’s development and governance. His current projects include studies of social regulation, environmental governance, social and political trust, and state-society relations. He also continues to examine the political economy of the Great Leap Famine (1959-1961), the worst in human history. Among his books are Remaking the Chinese Leviathan:  Market Transition and the Politics of Governance in China (Stanford University Press, 2004); Calamity and Reform in China: State, Rural Society and Institutional Change since the Great Leap Famine (Stanford University Press, 1996); and Beyond Beijing: Liberalization and the Regions in China (Routledge, 1997).  He is also editor or co-editor of several other volumes, most recently The Global Recession and China’s Political Economy (Palgrave, 2012). A contributor to The United States and the Rise of China and India, by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, his recent articles have appeared in Comparative Political Studies, International Political Science Review, Journal of Contemporary China, and Political Studies.

*To learn more about the workshop, please visit our workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/

*Subscribe or unsubscribe to the workshop mailing-list at: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/info/east-asia

*Questions and concerns can be addressed to the student coordinator Haitong Xu (xuhaitong@uchciago.edu) and Yang Xiang (xiangalan@uchicago.edu)


Faculty sponsors:

Xi Song (Sociology), xisong@uchicago.edu

Dali Yang (Political Science), daliyang@uchicago.edu

Dingxin Zhao (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu


The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.



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