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Hayward, Jane and Laffey, Mark (2020) The Rise Of China, In Theory: Peasants, Urban-Rural Relations, And The Internationalization Of The State. London: SOAS University of London.

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Analysts of world politics routinely ask what a ‘rising’ China will want and what it will do. In this paper, we ask a different question: what is China? In dominant accounts of China's rise, adopting a Weberian model of the state and methodological nation-statism in analysis, the answer to this question is theoretically over-determined: China is either a rising power, a strong state, or it is weak and fragmenting. Against Weberian perspectives, we make two moves which together produce a different constitutive account of China’s rise and what it means. First, we adopt an historical materialist conception of the state, drawn from internationalization of the state theory. Second, we focus empirically on the Chinese peasantry which, despite its centrality to Chinese economic development, is usually either marginal or invisible in analysis of China's rise. Such an account is both conceptually superior to Weberian accounts by integrating analysis across scales, escaping the territorial trap, and also empirically richer in being able to account for more of the available evidence of China's rise, its dynamics and implications. Specifically, it enables us to produce an integrated account of rural and urban developments, as together constitutive of the internationalization of the Chinese state.

Item Type: Monographs and Working Papers (Working Paper)
SOAS Departments & Centres: Regional Centres and Institutes > London Middle East Institute
School Research Centres > Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice
Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2020 13:00

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