What explains China’s distinctive approach to economic statecraft? When is China’s economic statecraft most effective, and what can the China case tell us about economic statecraft more broadly? This presentation will engage these three questions by drawing upon my current book manuscript. The book begins with two chapters tracing the ideas and institutions at the heart of the ‘China model’ of economic statecraft, followed by two most-likely cases for success: Myanmar and North Korea. The final three empirical chapters examine a set of least-likely cases, first comparing China’s economic statecraft in Western Europe with Central and Eastern Europe, and then assessing Beijing’s impact upon European policy decisions. The findings show how China uses economic resources to exert influence abroad and identify when Beijing is most effective. By exploring the domestic drivers of China’s economic statecraft, this book will also help launch a new research field: the comparative study of economic statecraft.


James Reilly is an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney in the Department of Government and International Relations. He holds degrees from Guilford College, University of Washington, and George Washington University. He was a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford (2008-09) and a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (2015-16). He also served as the East Asia Representative of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), based in Dalian, China from 2001-2008. He is the author of Strong Society, Smart State: The Rise of Public Opinion in China’s Japan Policy (Columbia University Press), and the co-editor of Australia and China at 40 (UNSW Press).