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Scott Kennedy, beyond the Middle Kingdom: comparative perspective on China’s capitalist transformation

(Stanford University Press, 2011), 280 p. $58.50 hardback, $14.95 paperback

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Despite its comparatively short length, this edited volume is a serious academic work with several distinct strengths. First, it adopts a comparative framework of analysis. For instance, on the subject of regulation, China is compared to France, Japan, and Brazil; on development strategies, with East Asian countries; on automobile production, with Russia; on welfare, with Brazil, India, and Indonesia; on business-government relations, with India, Japan and Russia; and on bank acquisitions, with Mexico and Korea. This approach facilitates comparing China with other developing countries in its analysis of the background, evolution, and progress of China’s transformation into a capitalist and market economy. Through comparison, China’s unique aspects are highlighted against its commonalities with other developing countries.

Second, the subjects of the book are well-chosen to reflect major current issues in China’s economic model and practices, such as regulation, development strategy, the automobile sector, welfare policy, and business-government relations. The book ends with a conclusion that echoes the introductory chapter by stressing the importance of a comparative approach in studying China. Third, the chapters by various authors are coherently and organically connected, giving this volume of nine chapters (by eight authors) the impressions of a work well-executed under a shared plan. Cross-references within the chapters are well-placed, which makes it easy to read this edited volume; despite some distinct individual styles. This excellent volume is suitable for a graduate seminar on China’s economy or political economy and for an upper-division undergraduate class on the similar subject.

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Correspondence to Yi Feng.

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Feng, Y. Scott Kennedy, beyond the Middle Kingdom: comparative perspective on China’s capitalist transformation. J OF CHIN POLIT SCI 19, 441 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11366-014-9317-z

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