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Club Lunch: The Real China Model: It’s Not What You Think It Is

Date: 27 Aug 2018 12:30 PM | Venue:

The Real China Model:
It’s Not What You Think It Is

Yuen Yuen Ang
Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan
Monday, August 27, 2018
12:30pm for 12:45pm – Lunch
1:15pm – Address
1st Floor

The West is growing fearful that developing countries are finding the “China model” more appealing than liberal democracy. But what exactly is the China model? Professor Ang’s research reveals that the China model changes depending on where and when one looks for it. The political foundation of China’s economic success is what the speaker calls “directed improvisation”—the merger of top-down direction and bottom-up improvisation within China’s one-party regime. Western democracies do not need to fear the China model. Instead, they should worry about the widespread misinterpretation of this model by the West, the developing world, and China’s own political elites.


Professor Ang has presented her work at academic, global development, and corporate venues around the world, including the World Bank, United Nations, U.K Department of International Development, OECD Development Center, and major investment companies. In 2018, she was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow for “high-caliber scholarship that applies fresh perspectives to some of the most pressing issues of our times.” Her book, How China Escaped the Poverty Trap ,was named “Best of Books 2017” by Foreign Affairs. The Chinese edition has just been released by Chinese University of Hong Kong Press and Sanlian in 2018.



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