Economic Openness and Territorial Politics in China

By Golley, Jane | The China Journal, January 2013 | Go to article overview

Economic Openness and Territorial Politics in China


Golley, Jane, The China Journal


Economic Openness and Territorial Politics in China, by Yumin Sheng. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. xx + 292 pp. £55.00/ US$85.00 (hardcover).

In this book, Yumin Sheng examines how China's integration into the global economy has shaped central-provincial political relations in the post- 1978 period. Sheng s central hypothesis is that China's highly centralized political structure, and the consequent ability of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to exercise tighter political control on those provinces most likely to challenge its power, has played a critical role in holding the country together during a period in which global integration could have posed a serious threat to national unity. However, this has come at a cost, as the more tightly controlled provinces - the richer coastal provinces which have benefited the most from global integrationhave been subject to greater fiscal extraction from the center, and have suffered lower rates of economic growth as a consequence. This situation has far-reaching implications for the sustainability of China's economic growth and its political transition towards democracy.

Sheng begins with a succinct discussion of theoretical issues relating to political centralization and globalization, combined with illustrative applications to a broad range of countries. China is a prime example of the most centralized type of political system in which one single political party is capable of exercising authority over its provincial governments through personnel appointments and other means. Sheng identifies four subsets of provincial Party secretaries, who represent each province's degree of "bureaucratic integration" with the center, based on their perceived willingness to behave in Une with the center's own objectives. These are "concurrent centralists" (who are also members of the Politburo of the CCP Central Committee), "centralists" (who used to hold key positions in the center), "outsiders" (who previously spent time in other provincial posts) and "localists" (who worked their way up the local bureaucratic hierarchy). Sheng uses this classification to construct a bureaucratic integration index for each province in each year, which proxies for the center's degree of control and is the focal point of the analysis that follows.

Over the five central chapters of the book, Sheng is comprehensive and lucid in establishing his hypotheses, explaining his measurements and methodologies, presenting and discussing his results, and addressing the shortcomings of his analysis. He combines a rigorous and structured approach to statistical analysis with anecdotal evidence, historical, political and economic context, and extensive referencing to a broad literature. This makes for a book that is easy to read and highly informative, particularly for those who like numbers. While it may be possible to pick holes in some of his results, the overall message is both clear and credible: more globally integrated provinces have tended to be more bureaucratically integrated with the center in Beijing, paying a cost in terms of fiscal remittances and economic growth, but to the benefit of national unity.

Sheng argues that the center's fiscal prédation on more prosperous provinces erodes the property rights of provincial officials and distorts their incentives for pursuing high growth (although it is not obvious that growth maximization is no longer optimal, even if the center is extracting more of their pie). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Economic Openness and Territorial Politics in China
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.