Capitalism Without Democracy

KellieTsaiCo-presented by the China Studies Centre and the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CAPLUS)

Capitalism Without Democracy: The Private Sector in Contemporary China

Professor Kellee S. Tsai

5:30pm – 7pm, Thursday 26 May 2016
Law School Common Room
Level 4, New Law Building
Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney

The stunning expansion of China’s private sector growth has led observers to assume that its growing ranks of capitalists represent a force for democratization. Tsai’s research in ten provinces finds little evidence for this belief, but shows that private entrepreneurs have nonetheless had a structural impact on Chinese politics through a variety of “adaptive informal institutions.” The ability of China’s party-state to respond constructively to private sector interests has been a source of authoritarian resilience for the past three decades. Can the present government retain this flexibility as China enters a period of slower economic growth?

Professor Kellee S. Tsai is the Division Head and Chair Professor of Social Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Prior to joining HKUST, Professor Tsai served as Vice Dean for Humanities and Social Science and Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. A scholar of contemporary Chinese politics and economic development, Tsai’s research addresses broader debates in comparative politics, the political economy of development, and the study of informal institutions and endogenous institutional change. She has published five books, including Back-Alley Banking: Private Entrepreneurs in China (Cornell University Press, 2002), Rural Industrialization and Non-Governmental Finance in Wenzhou (co-authored in Chinese, 山西经济出版社 2004), Japan and China in the World Political Economy (co-edited with Saadia Pekannen, Routledge, 2005), Capitalism without Democracy: The Private Sector in Contemporary China (Cornell University Press, 2007), and State Capitalism, Institutional Adaptation, and the Chinese Miracle (co-edited with Barry Naughton, Cambridge University Press 2015).

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