The Business of Lobbying in China

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

China Business Review
Through a series of well-documented case studies, Kennedy presents an intelligent and accessible analysis of "the business of lobbying in China." He does a superb job of focusing on industries that are national in scope and that command the attention of senior policymakers in China. For business leaders, academics, and graduate students alike, The Business of Lobbying in China illuminates the nuances associated with the complex political and business cultures in China.
— Mark T. Fung
China Journal
Despite the recent proliferation of business firms in China and their evident economic power, surprisingly little is known about business involvement in national-level politics and policymaking. In this well-written book, Scott Kennedy sheds new light on this, examining the nature of business—government interactions at the national level in three economic sectors (steel, consumer electronics and software)...The book is carefully researched and well presented. It contains a wealth of new information gathered through extensive fieldwork and offers a series of original and well-supported arguments. In short, anyone interested in state-society relations, policy-making and economic activity in China will find the book valuable and thought-provoking.
— Kenneth W. Foster
Choice
Chinese economic reforms and their impacts on democratization have elicited much speculation. This valuable case study of business-government relations provides insight into that debate.
— C. A. Haulman
Far Eastern Economic Review
Tucked away in this well-researched, carefully reasoned piece of scholarship are fresh, insightful observations on both economic and political trends in Chinese society...Scott Kennedy's book is a thoughtful examination of the ways and the extent to which business in China influences government policy.
— Sidney Rittenberg, Sr.
Pacific Affairs
Scott Kennedy has produced a well-documented book on an important subject in the China field. He demonstrates an ability to link his area studies expertise with methodological and theoretical reflections drawn from comparative politics and comparative political economy. The book is highly recommendable to all serious students of Chinese affairs.

— Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard

Perspectives on Politics
In this fascinating monograph, Scott Kennedy explores the nature of state-society relations through the lens of business lobbying. He begins his work by criticizing existing approaches in comparative politics, which often try to fit various countries into a few standard models of state-society relations: pluralism, corporatism, clientelism, and monism. Given the complexity and dynamism in China’s economy, Kennedy makes the astute observation that no single model suffices to describe the complex business-government relations in China.
— Victor Shih
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674015470
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Pages: 278
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Kennedy is Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Associate Professor of Political Science at Indiana University.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : the puzzle of lobbying in China 1
2 Organizing business in China 25
3 The steel industry : walking on one leg 57
4 The consumer electronics industry : sending mixed signals 96
5 The software industry : approaching pluralism 128
6 Conclusion : China's political economies 160
App Case selection and interviews 189
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