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Julian Gruin

path of financial reform since the early 1990s, I trace the implications of the duality of the role that it fulfilled under the aegis of CCP control, firstly as an economically effective mechanism for financial intermediation within the real economy, and secondly as a politically effective mechanism for preserving centralized power and authority over the benefits of that financial intermediation. The institutional and regulatory reforms that took place during the 1990s and 2000s do not overshadow the continuity of this function. Indeed, as will be discussed in later

in Communists constructing capitalism
State, market, and the Party in China’s financial reform
Author: Julian Gruin

Over more than thirty years of reform and opening, the Chinese Communist Party has pursued the gradual marketization of China’s economy alongside the preservation of a resiliently authoritarian political system, defying long-standing predictions that ‘transition’ to a market economy would catalyse deeper political transformation. In an era of deepening synergy between authoritarian politics and finance capitalism, Communists constructing capitalism offers a novel and important perspective on this central dilemma of contemporary Chinese development. This book challenges existing state–market paradigms of political economy and reveals the Eurocentric assumptions of liberal scepticism towards Chinese authoritarian resilience. It works with an alternative conceptual vocabulary for analysing the political economy of financial development as both the management and exploitation of socio-economic uncertainty. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork and over sixty interviews with policymakers, bankers, and former party and state officials, the book delves into the role of China’s state-owned banking system since 1989. It shows how political control over capital has been central to China’s experience of capitalist development, enabling both rapid economic growth whilst preserving macroeconomic and political stability. Communists constructing capitalism will be of academic interest to scholars and graduate students in the fields of Chinese studies, social studies of finance, and international and comparative political economy. Beyond academia, it will be essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of Chinese capitalism and its implications for an increasingly central issue in contemporary global politics: the financial foundations of illiberal capitalism.

Constructing capitalism in the 1990s
Julian Gruin

allocation was to relate to the broader sphere of production. It remained ­institutionally incapable of performing the ideal liberal role of financial intermediation in an increasingly market-oriented ­economy 105 communists constructing capitalism (Dipchand et al. 1994; Tam 1995; Lardy 1998). Yet China’s overall growth rate averaged 11.5 per cent between 1991 and 1997. As recent studies of the impact of China’s financial repression have argued, whilst it is possible that deeper reform and a more liberalized financial sector would have increased this growth rate, it is

in Communists constructing capitalism
Julian Gruin

as a sustainable political form. This demands an understanding of Chinese development as a distinctive, unique, yet nonetheless thoroughly modern process of confronting the contradictions and tensions of capitalist governance. This book has argued that one path towards this is to focus upon the mechanisms through which trust is achieved, thereby ­managing 217 communists constructing capitalism the inherent uncertainty of socio-economic action. China’s ­capitalism has achieved this through a gradual deepening of the market’s role in financial intermediation and the

in Communists constructing capitalism
Julian Gruin

management has underpinned growth in China to the extent that one banker summarized it pithily thus: ‘moral hazard is state policy’.1 Yet such techniques of financial regulation and policy, whilst necessary, are clearly insufficient to secure the broader stability of a system of financial intermediation. The belated recognition of the myth of the self-regulating financial market is opening up greater scope for understanding and parsing the social foundations of financial governance. The management of socio-­economic uncertainty should be distinguished from the more

in Communists constructing capitalism
Abstract only
From the Bank of Scotland’s origins to HBOS and crisis
Jonathan Hearn

control. Central banks are the obvious paradigmatic case, with their special responsibilities, in various articulations with government treasuries, for such things as currency supply and interest rates. Many other banks and financial organisations are situated more clearly in the private sphere, but because all are collectively involved in national and transnational patterns and flows of financial intermediation and investment, they are perennially of concern to governments. If modern capitalist society is characterised by this mutual reinforcement of core economic and

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector