Remade in China: Foreign Investors and Institutional Change in China

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Since opening to foreign investment in 1979, China has emerged as the leading investment site for multinational corporations. Remade in China looks beyond the macroeconomic effects of China's investment boom to analyze how foreign investors from the US, Japan, and other nations are shaping China's legal, labor, and business reforms. Wilson draws on interviews with nearly 100 foreign and local managers, attorneys, workers, and members of the business community to explain why Chinese laborers and firms have gravitated toward foreign models, especially US businesses and their institutions.

Wilson uses the term "state-guided globalization" to describe how China has used foreign engagement to advance its domestic reform objectives and to enhance its role in international society. Rather than undermining state power, globalization actually has allowed China's state to push through difficult labor and legal reforms. Wilson concludes that Chinese policy makers drew lessons from foreign investors and foreign legal experts on how to introduce difficult labor market reforms in its state-owned enterprises and how to promote rule of law.

Remade in China examines globalization and foreign investment in a different light, showing how these developments have helped to chart China's entry into international society. China's WTO accession agreement and international norms have established parameters by which to judge Chinese legal and business reforms. Although China's rise is a grave concern to the world, Remade in China asserts that Chinese leaders now see compliance with international rules as a means to secure more investment and to enhance their international legitimacy. Wilson provides a lucid and insightful analysis of how foreign and domestic actors, from political leaders to average laborers, have contributed to remaking China's institutions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An excellent academic book on the forces that have transformed China over the last three decades. It is a thoughtful, empirical analysis of the impact of foreign investment on the process of institutional change in China. It will be of interest to China scholars, particularly those interested in foreign investment and the processes of change that are occurring on the ground as well as those interested in broader theories of economic development and institutional change...a truly outstanding piece of scholarship."—The China Quarterly

"An essential reading for students and scholars with an economic and political interest in China, and it contributes to an understanding of changes within China's institutional environment. With the growing acknowledgement of the importance of institutional analysis in organization theory and firm-level studies, this book is a valuable contribution to the existing research and, with Scott Wilson's timely and concise account of current developments, it provides readers with useful information to understand better foreign influences on institutional change in China."—Regional Studies

"Wilson has given us a timely, probing and admirably balanced analysis. His thoughtful book merits careful reading by anyone wishing to understand the dynamics of China's state-guided globalization, its consequences for China's changing society and polity, and what these changes augur for China's future as a power in world affairs. "—Vivienne Shue, Leverhulme Professor and Director of the Contemporary China Studies Program, Oxford University

"Scott Wilson has written a pioneering study of how foreign-invested companies have influenced the evolution of norms and practices of Chinese organizations across a wide range of sectors. His research is meticulous and innovative. His conclusions are thought-provoking. Remade in China has made a significant and lasting contribution to the study of institutional change in China in the context of economic reform and globalization."—Minxin Pei, Professor of Government and Director of the Keck Center for International & Strategic Studies, Claremont McKenna College and Adjunct Senior Associate in the China Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195388312
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/11/2009
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Wilson is Professor and Chair of Political Science at The University of the South. Beginning in 1985, he has lived in China for five years, researching Chinese political economy. Currently, he is focusing on NGOs such as legal aid centers, AIDS groups, and environmental protection organizations, which promote legal development in China.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: China and Globalization
1. Globalization and Path Dependent Institutional Change
Section I: Macro-level Dynamics and Institutional Change
2. China and Globalization: A Deepening Relationship
3. The Rise of Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises
4. Law Guanxi: Chinese Law Goes International and Foreign Investors Go Local
5. The Diffusion of Pay-for-Performance Institutions
6. Dismissal and Labor Turnover
7. "Re-Made in China": Foreign Investors and Chinese Actors Negotiate Institutional Change
Appendix One: Data Collection and List of Interviewees

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