RSA International Hour China - Exploring the Chinese Social Model: Beyond Market and State

07 December 2022 to 07 December 2022

This session offers an intrinsically geographical understanding of the dynamic economic and social processes bundled together under the sign of ‘China model’. In the existing China model literature, popular theories range from the varieties of capitalism, market transition, developmental state, to state corporatism and authoritarian resilience, among others. What these different intellectual approaches share, however, is the persistent tendencies in (macro)economic theorizing to treat market and state as antipodes. The dichotomous perspective obscures mechanisms and processes that transcend the state-market divide in the analysis of China’s contemporary developmental/governance experience. In response, the presenters construct an integrated scheme to incorporate the social dimension, and characterize China as a market economy embedded in a particular system of political governance and society, which has strongly shaped national and territorial wealth accumulation, distribution and redistribution. This scheme brings to the fore China’s continuing attempts to combine capitalist and territorial logics, in terms of both enabling accumulation and spatial expansion, and addressing the attendant multi-scalar social inequity and inequality.


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