Professor Yeling Tan discusses her book, Disaggregating China, Inc: State Strategies in the Liberal Economic Order. China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 represented an historic opportunity to peacefully integrate a rising economic power into the international order based on market-liberal rules. Yet current trade tensions between the US and China indicate that this integration process has run into trouble. To what extent has the liberal internationalist promise of the WTO been fulfilled? To answer this question, this study breaks open the black box of the massive Chinese state and unpacks the economic strategies that central economic agencies as well as subnational authorities adopted in response to WTO rules demanding far-reaching modifications to China’s domestic institutions. The study explains why, rather than imposing constraints, WTO entry provoked divergent policy responses from different actors within the Chinese state, in ways neither expected nor desired by the architects of the WTO.
Yeling Tan is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Oregon. She is also a non-resident scholar at UC San Diego’s 21st Century China Center and a public intellectual fellow with the National Committee on US-China Relations. She holds a PhD in Public Policy and an MPA in International Development from Harvard University, and a BA in International Relations and Economics from Stanford University. Dr. Tan’s work has been published in Comparative Political Studies, Governance, the China Journal and Global Policy. She is co-author of China Experiments: From Local Innovation to National Reform (Brookings Institution Press) and co-editor of Asia’s Role in Governing Global Health (Routledge). Her latest book is Disaggregating China, Inc: State Strategies in the Liberal Economic Order (Cornell University Press). She has also written for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy and The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog.
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