[english] – This podcast is part of the online discussion series China and the Left.
Announcement: China has become deeply integrated into the world economy. Yet, gradual marketization has facilitated the country’s rise without leading to its wholesale assimilation to global neoliberalism. Isabella Weber’s book How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate (Routledge, 2021) uncovers the fierce contest about economic reforms that shaped China’s path. In the 1980s, China’s reformers were sharply divided. They agreed that China had to reform its economic system and move toward more marketization—but struggled over how to go about it. Should China destroy the core of the socialist system through shock therapy, or should it use the institutions of the planned economy as market creators? With hindsight, the historical record proves the high stakes behind the question: China embarked on an economic expansion commonly described as unprecedented in scope and pace, whereas Russia’s economy collapsed under shock therapy. Isabella Weber joins us to present her book and discuss the struggle over the reform course and its implications for state-market relations in China since the 1980s.
Sponsors gongchao.org, Made in China Journal, positions politics, and Critical China Scholars.
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