May 15, 5 pm, Wen Xie presents: Embedded Liberalization and Paths toward Capitalism in China

Please join us for our next meeting of the Money, Markets and Governance workshop, Next Tuesday May 15th, at 5:00 – 6:30 PM in classroom 401 in the Social Science Research Building.

Wen Xie

PhD Candidate, Sociology, University of Chicago

Embedded Liberalization and Paths toward Capitalism in China


Yan Xu

PhD Candidate, Political Science, University of Chicago

Abstract: Varieties of capitalism, rather than a uniform market economy, emerged within China. This article provides a theoretical framework for explaining the formation of different political economic orders after liberalization from socialism took place. It argues that liberalization is multifarious and comes from multiple sources, including Smithian and Schumpeterian entrepreneurship, changing soft-budget constraints of the former socialist organization, and globalization. Liberalization did not occur in a vacuum but transpired within a local structure rooted in the socialist past. Economic populace and an organization-state nexus are the most important features of the local structure that condition the unfolding of multiple liberalization forces. Various types of political economic orders result from the interactions between the economic field and multiple sources of dis-embedding. Temporality matters in the process because mechanisms mean differently across time and place.

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