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The Reluctant Dragon: Crisis Cycles in Chinese Foreign Economic Policy. By Lawrence C. Reardon. [Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2002. 355 pp. £34.50. ISBN 0-295-8121-0.]

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2004

Extract

According to Lawrence Reardon, most Western scholarship on PRC foreign economic policy before 1978 painted the entire period as one highlighted by Maoist autarky. In fact, argues Reardon in this conceptually framed and empirically rich book, from 1949 to 1979 China's foreign trade policy actually shifted back and forth in a cyclical pattern between “semi-autarky” and an “import substitution industrialization” (ISI) strategy. These were the two dominant, but competing, elite visions of how to attain the uniformly accepted goal of “self-reliance.” The two coalitions who held these views also disagreed about the motivational strategy the state should employ, with the semi-autarkists favouring a normative/mobilizational strategy, while the ISI coalition preferred a remunerative/administrative one. The driving force of the cyclical shifts were economic crises that triggered reassessments of the ongoing policy position by the competing elite group, who used problems in the extant development strategy to undermine the legitimacy of its opponents and their policy. The new dominant coalition then proposed its program, which eventually faced a crisis, ending the cycle of the policy process.

Type
Book Reviews
Copyright
© The China Quarterly, 2004

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The Reluctant Dragon: Crisis Cycles in Chinese Foreign Economic Policy. By Lawrence C. Reardon. [Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2002. 355 pp. £34.50. ISBN 0-295-8121-0.]
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The Reluctant Dragon: Crisis Cycles in Chinese Foreign Economic Policy. By Lawrence C. Reardon. [Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2002. 355 pp. £34.50. ISBN 0-295-8121-0.]
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The Reluctant Dragon: Crisis Cycles in Chinese Foreign Economic Policy. By Lawrence C. Reardon. [Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2002. 355 pp. £34.50. ISBN 0-295-8121-0.]
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