Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Business of Lobbying in China or Rogues

The Business of Lobbying in China

Author: Scott Kennedy

In this timely work, Scott Kennedy documents the rising influence of business, both Chinese and foreign, on national public policy in China.

China's shift to a market economy has made businesses more sensitive to their bottom line and has seen the passage of thousands of laws and regulations that directly affect firms' success. Companies have become involved in a tug of war with the government and with each other to gain national policy advantages, often setting the agenda, providing alternative options, and pressing for a favored outcome.

Kennedy's comparison of lobbying in the steel, consumer electronics, and software industries shows that although companies operate in a common political system, economic circumstances shape the nature and outcome of lobbying. Factors such as private or state ownership, size, industry concentration, and technological sophistication all affect industry activism.

Based on over 300 in-depth interviews with company executives, business association representatives, and government officials, this study identifies a wide range of national economic policies influenced by lobbying, including taxes, technical standards, and intellectual property rights. These findings have significant implications for how we think about Chinese politics and economics, as well as government-business relations in general.

What People Are Saying

Harry Harding
Can Chinese firms promote their interests within what remains an authoritarian political system? Scott Kennedy argues that they can, in some cases through business associations. Based on extensive field research, this is one of the first books to examine the ways in which non-state actors in China pursue their interests through lobbying. It is an invaluable addition to the literature on state-society relations in contemporary China. --(Harry Harding, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University)

Ian Johnson
Scott Kennedy has dissected a complex subject in a lucid work with broad implications. His research, well-illustrated with fascinating examples of behind-the-scenes business lobbying, shows that the old corporatist model for explaining business-government relations is increasingly inadequate as interest groups and organizations compete for the government's ear. He shows us a richly complex country with increasing demands percolating up from below--a country that no longer fits the authoritarian model of popular imagination. Strongly recommended for anyone doing business in China or
interested in questions of civil society and, ultimately, political reform. --(Ian Johnson, author of Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in China)

Margaret M. Pearson
Scott Kennedy, one of today's best young scholars of China's political economy, has written a fascinating book that changes the way we see the world of Chinese business. Contrary to the image of Chinese firms as unable or unwilling to influence policy at the national level, business lobbying of government is alive and well. Clearly written and full of vivid data on multiple industries and issues, this book is a must for anyone interested in business-government relations in China. --(Margaret M. Pearson, author of China's New Business Elite)

Jerome A. Cohen
Business-related lobbying, both domestic and foreign, is an important part of the political, legislative, and administrative process in China, and Scott Kennedy's fresh analysis is the best guide I have seen on the subject. --(Jerome A. Cohen, New York University School of Law)

Table of Contents:
1Introduction : the puzzle of lobbying in China1
2Organizing business in China25
3The steel industry : walking on one leg57
4The consumer electronics industry : sending mixed signals96
5The software industry : approaching pluralism128
6Conclusion : China's political economies160
AppCase selection and interviews189

Interesting textbook: Economia finanziaria

Rogues: Two Essays on Reason

Author: Jacques Derrida

Rogues, published in France under the title Voyous, comprises two major lectures that Derrida delivered in 2002 investigating the foundations of the sovereignty of the nation-state. The term “État voyou” is the French equivalent of “rogue state,” and it is this outlaw designation of certain countries by the leading global powers that Derrida rigorously and exhaustively examines.

Derrida examines the history of the concept of sovereignty, engaging with the work of Bodin, Hobbes, Rousseau, Schmitt, and others. Against this background, he delineates his understanding of “democracy to come,” which he distinguishes clearly from any kind of regulating ideal or teleological horizon. The idea that democracy will always remain in the future is not a temporal notion. Rather, the phrase would name the coming of the unforeseeable other, the structure of an event beyond calculation and program. Derrida thus aligns this understanding of democracy with the logic he has worked out elsewhere. But it is not just political philosophy that is brought under deconstructive scrutiny here: Derrida provides unflinching and hard-hitting assessments of current political realities, and these essays are highly engaged with events of the post-9/11 world.

Library Journal

Although some critics contended that Derrida (1930-2004) turned more to the political later in his life, his last book demonstrates that his deconstruction always contained the kernels of political discourse. That politics occupied a central place in Derrida's mind and work should have always been clear from his early essays on Rousseau, Hegel, and Plato in Writing and Difference and Dissemination. Here, he deconstructs the notions of sovereignty, democracy, reason, terrorism, and rogue states. In his typically rigorous fashion, Derrida examines in detail the ways that language constructs and deconstructs our political ideas. Thus, "Pure sovereignty does not exist; it is always in the process of positing itself by refuting itself of betraying itself by betraying the democracy that nonetheless can never do without it." While democratic sovereign states, those capable of ruling within the bounds of international laws, ostensibly act with reason and justice, they often act outside of those boundaries, thus becoming rogue states. He points to the United States's flouting of the UN Security Council's lack of support for a war in Iraq as a perfect example of a sovereign turning into a rogue. With his deft prose, amazing philosophical erudition, and exacting method, he deconstructs the phrase "rogue state" (Etat voyou) while tracing the legacy of sovereignty from Bacon and Hobbes to the oft-neglected 20th-century political philosopher Carl Schmitt. Recommended especially for large libraries that serve college or university communities, academic libraries, and libraries wanting a complete collection of Derrida's works.-Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Lancaster, PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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