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The Business of Lobbying in China


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments List of Tables and Figures Abbreviations 1. Introduction: The Puzzle of Lobbying in China The Puzzle and the Project Alternative Patterns of Government-Business Relations Previous Research: Fulfilling Expectations (Not) Explaining Variation The Consequences The Significance of Economic Factors China as a Critical Case The Research Design Outline of the Book 2. Organizing Business in China Introduction The New Basis for Government-Business Interaction Mapping China's Association System The Limited Autonomy of Business Associations The Missing Structural Components of Corporatism Pluralism: A Mixed Picture Beyond Clientelism Conclusion: Explaining Variation 3. The Steel Industry: Walking on One Leg Introduction The Economics of Steel The Weakness of China's Steel Associations The Dominance of Direct Interaction The Gap Between Connections and Clientelism Cartel Calamities Steel Trade Warriors The Exception: Environmental Protection Policy Conclusion 4. Consumer Electronics: Sending Mixed Signals Introduction The Economics of TVs and VCD Players The Uneven Growth of Consumer Electronics Associations Direct Contact: Taking Offense The Price of Competition Fighting Off the Tax Man The Standard of Influence Conclusion 5. Software: Approaching Pluralism Introduction The Economics of Software The Growth of Software Associations Other Signs of Pluralism The "Normalization" of Relationships The VAT: Revaluing the Industry Copyright Protection: Joining the Fight Standards: Erecting and Dismantling Barriers to Entry Conclusion 6. Conclusion: China's Political Economies Introduction Linking Economics, Interaction, and Influence Chinese Politics: Adapting Models and Integrating Sub-Fields Incremental Democratization? Reform Alternatives: Beyond Liberalization Appendix: Case Selection and Interviews Notes Index

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Scott Kennedy has dissected a complex subject in a lucid work with broad implications. His research, well-illustrated with fascinating examples of behind-the-scenes business lobbying, shows that the old corporatist model for explaining business-government relations is increasingly inadequate as interest groups and organizations compete for the government's ear. He shows us a richly complex country with increasing demands percolating up from below--a country that no longer fits the authoritarian model of popular imagination. Strongly recommended for anyone doing business in China or interested in questions of civil society and, ultimately, political reform. -- Ian Johnson, author of Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in China Can Chinese firms promote their interests within what remains an authoritarian political system? Scott Kennedy argues that they can, in some cases through business associations. Based on extensive field research, this is one of the first books to examine the ways in which non-state actors in China pursue their interests through lobbying. It is an invaluable addition to the literature on state-society relations in contemporary China. -- Harry Harding, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University Scott Kennedy, one of today's best young scholars of China's political economy, has written a fascinating book that changes the way we see the world of Chinese business. Contrary to the image of Chinese firms as unable or unwilling to influence policy at the national level, business lobbying of government is alive and well. Clearly written and full of vivid data on multiple industries and issues, this book is a must for anyone interested in business-government relations in China. -- Margaret M. Pearson, author of China's New Business Elite Business-related lobbying, both domestic and foreign, is an important part of the political, legislative, and administrative process in China, and Scott Kennedy's fresh analysis is the best guide I have seen on the subject. -- Jerome A. Cohen, New York University School of Law

About the Author

Scott Kennedy is Deputy Director of the Freeman Chair in China Studies and Director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


Chinese economic reforms and their impacts on democratization have elicited much speculation. This valuable case study of business-government relations provides insight into that debate. -- C. A. Haulman Choice 20050901 Tucked away in this well-researched, carefully reasoned piece of scholarship are fresh, insightful observations on both economic and political trends in Chinese society...Scott Kennedy's book is a thoughtful examination of the ways and the extent to which business in China influences government policy. -- Sidney Rittenberg, Sr. Far Eastern Economic Review 20050401 Despite the recent proliferation of business firms in China and their evident economic power, surprisingly little is known about business involvement in national-level politics and policymaking. In this well-written book, Scott Kennedy sheds new light on this, examining the nature of business-government interactions at the national level in three economic sectors (steel, consumer electronics and software)...The book is carefully researched and well presented. It contains a wealth of new information gathered through extensive fieldwork and offers a series of original and well-supported arguments. In short, anyone interested in state-society relations, policy-making and economic activity in China will find the book valuable and thought-provoking. -- Kenneth W. Foster China Journal 20050701 Through a series of well-documented case studies, Kennedy presents an intelligent and accessible analysis of "the business of lobbying in China." He does a superb job of focusing on industries that are national in scope and that command the attention of senior policymakers in China. For business leaders, academics, and graduate students alike, The Business of Lobbying in China illuminates the nuances associated with the complex political and business cultures in China. -- Mark T. Fung China Business Review 20061101 In this fascinating monograph, Scott Kennedy explores the nature of state-society relations through the lens of business lobbying. He begins his work by criticizing existing approaches in comparative politics, which often try to fit various countries into a few standard models of state-society relations: pluralism, corporatism, clientelism, and monism. Given the complexity and dynamism in China's economy, Kennedy makes the astute observation that no single model suffices to describe the complex business-government relations in China. -- Victor Shih Perspectives on Politics 20060901 Scott Kennedy has produced a well-documented book on an important subject in the China field. He demonstrates an ability to link his area studies expertise with methodological and theoretical reflections drawn from comparative politics and comparative political economy. The book is highly recommendable to all serious students of Chinese affairs. -- Kjeld Erik Brodsgaard Pacific Affairs 20070101 Scott Kennedy has produced a well-documented book on an important subject in the China field. He demonstrates an ability to link his area studies expertise with methodological and theoretical reflections drawn from comparative politics and comparative political economy. The book is highly recommendable to all serious students of Chinese affairs. -- Kjeld Erik Brodsgaard Pacific Affairs 20071201

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