Ancient markets, modern capitalism
China and the problem of Eurocentrism
in Communists constructing capitalism
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Chapter 2 positions the current study of China’s evolving capitalism in the broader context of China’s historical politico-economic evolution, and the significance of a distinction between a ‘market economy’ and a ‘capitalist economy’ for the study of contemporary political economy. It argues that the Eurocentrism that dominated debates as to why China ‘failed’ to develop capitalism (the great divergence) is the same Eurocentrism that has reified the conceptual state and market as the definitive analytic categories of Western political economy. Thus, it is only by way of understanding contemporary capitalism as more than the various configurations of state and market institutions—as the broad literature surrounding varieties of capitalism would reduce it to—that China’s otherwise highly paradoxical path of development can begin to be made sense of. More specifically, it opens up the theoretical space for conceptualizing the role of the CCP as an integral element of this evolving capitalist enterprise.

Communists constructing capitalism

State, market, and the Party in China’s financial reform


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