Volume XXXVII • Issue 1 • 2020

China’s Political Economy under Xi

Special Issue Editors: Daniel Fuchs, Frido Wenten


Over the last decade, China’s political economy underwent two significant caesuras. The world economic crisis of 2008 inaugurated a period of slower growth rates and a renewed governmental effort to ‘rebalance’ the economy. Shortly thereafter, the new Xi/Li administration began to consolidate its power, tightening domestic control over civil society, while framing its interests abroad in terms of a free market agenda. This special issue of the Austrian Journal of Development Studies aims to explore the coherence and contradictions, challenges and opportunities of this new stage in China’s capitalist development.

The issue is guided by the following questions: Is China’s political economy under Xi characterised by a new combination of capitalist market relations and authoritarian rule? Are we witnessing the emergence of a coherent growth model? What contradictions, limits and challenges have become visible? How do we best conceptualise and explain them? What does this imply domestically for labour, capital and civil society in China – as well as for political economic dynamics in the region and on a global scale?

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