China in the World Market: Chinese Industry and International Sources of Reform in the Post-Mao Era

By Thomas G. Moore | Go to book overview

12
External Shocks, State Capacity,
and National Responses for
Economic Adjustment:
Explaining Industrial
Change in China

DOMESTIC STRUCTURE AS A SOURCE OF
CHINESE POLICY MAKING

What explains the path taken in China to cope with the challenges presented by the MFA in textiles and GSC in shipbuilding? In an effort to construct an explanation that incorporates both the structuring impact of external forces and the mediating influence of internal forces, this chapter will rely heavily on the concept of state capacity, drawing upon the rich body of work developed by scholars in fields as diverse as comparative politics, foreign policy studies, and international political economy.1 Specifically, three critical aspects of domestic structure are identified from the case studies — the organizational structure of the state, the nature of government-industry relations, and the transitional nature of China's economy during the 1980s and early 1990s — to show a policy “fit” between the particular challenges posed by the outside world and the relatively market-oriented solution for industrial adjustment that emerged in the Chinese textile and shipbuilding industries. In keeping with the book's main theme, Chapter 2 focused conceptually on the catalytic role of the outside world, paying only passing attention to the mediating (but vital) role of domestic structure. Drawing on the

____________________
1
The classic, if now dated, review of the literature on state capacity is Skocpol (1985). The concept of state capacity has been used frequently in trying to explain national responses to various kinds of international economic change, such as oil shocks, global recession, and currency upheavals. The literature here is truly vast. Prominent examples include Katzenstein (1978a), Krasner (1978a), Katzenstein (1985), Gourevitch (1986), Loriaux (1991), and Ikenberry (1988).

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