IIPPE Pre-Conference Training Workshop 2019: The Political Economy of China...

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Science Po Lille (Room 1.29)



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Pre-Conference Training Workshop

The Political Economy of China’s Development: The Systemic Dynamics and Systematic Implications for Contemporary Capitalism

Tuesday 2 July 2019

This workshop aims to discuss the political economy ofChina’s development and its relationship with world capitalism from a historical materialist perspective. The first session will offer a perspective on the interactions between the Market Reforms and neoliberalism; the second session will look into some recent cinematic presentations of the “Chinese worker”, and argue how this stereotyping may preclude a fuller understanding of the dynamic reality of the Chinese proletariat; the third session will explore how the questions Lenin raised in his article Our Revolution may be answered by a socialist political economy that critically assimilates and transcends the theory and practice of Smithian/neoliberal and Listian/Keynesian market economics.


9:00 – 10:00

Welcome and Greetings

10:00 – 10:15


Dic Lo (Reader, SOAS, University of London)

10:15 – 12:15

China’s economic development and Market Reforms in the context of neoliberal globalisation

The nature and dynamics of China’s Market Reforms has been a subject of great contention. This paper will argue that China is, by and large, an exception to the norms of world neoliberalism and how the Chinese state’s zigzags between submission and resistance to neoliberalism reflects the contending tendencies inherent in the Market Reforms.

Language: English

Dic Lo & Sam-Kee Cheng (PhD student, SOAS, University of London)

12:15 – 13:30

Lunch Break

13:30 – 15:00

The “Chinese worker”: Image and Reality

What is the “Chinese worker”? This forum will critically assess the iconic still lifes in films such as Piano in a Factory《钢的琴》(2010),24 City《二十四城记》(2008), Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks《铁西区》(2003) and The Verse of Us《我的诗篇》(2015), and argue how the diverse living realities of the Chinese proletariat could be better expressed with a grasp of the country’s political economy.

Language: Chinese and English

Wang Hong (Associate Professor, Art College of Southwest University for Nationalities, Sichuan, China)

15:00 – 15:15


15:15 – 17:00

From Lenin’s questions in his last years to a socialist political economy for China today

This paper will argue that grasping the full relationship between necessity and contingency is crucial in refashioning historical materialism. Towards the end of his life, in response to the social-democratic orthodoxy that socialism can only be built on the basis of the most advanced capitalist economy and culture, Lenin argued that the Russian Revolution was not a freak of history and it was possible to economically catch up with advanced capitalism with a non-capitalist political system. China could provide an example of how Lenin’s challenge may be answered in practice.

Language: English

Jie Meng (Professor, Fudan University, Shanghai, China)

17:00 – 17:15


Dic Lo

Organiser: IIPPE China Working Group

Contact: Sam-Kee Cheng

Suggested Readings

Contemporary Chinese economy

Amin, S. (2013) ‘China 2013’, Monthly Review, March.

Connery, C. (2019) ‘Ronald Coase in Beijing’, New Left Review, no.115: 29-57.

Gaulard, M. (2018) ‘The Chinese economic crisis: a Marxist approach’, in G. Carchedi and M. Roberts (eds.) World in Crisis: A Global Analysis of Marx’s Law of Profitability, Chicago: Haymarket Books.

Hart-Landsberg M. and P. Burkett (2011) ‘The Chinese reform experience: a critical assessment’, Review of Radical Political Economics, 43 (1): 56-76.

Harvey, D. (2005) A Brief History of Neoliberalism, ch. , Oxford: OUP.

Huang, Philip. “Profit-making state firms and China’s development experience: ‘State Capitalism’ or ‘Socialist Market Economy’?”. Modern China, 38, 6 (2012): 591- 629

Li, Z. and H. Qi (2014) ‘Labor process and the Social Structure of Accumulation in China’, Review of Radical Political Economics, 46 (4): 481-488.

Lo, D. (2012) Alternatives to Neoliberal Globalization: Studies in the Political Economy of Institutions and Late Development, ch.6., Basingstoke and London, Palgrave Macmillan.

Lo, D. (2018) ‘Perspectives on China’s systematic impact on late industrialization: a critical appraisal’, unpublished paper, Department of Economics, SOAS University of London.

Long, Z., R. Herrera, and T.Andréani(2018) ‘On the nature of the Chinese economic system’, Monthly Review, October.

Naughton, B. (2017) ‘Is China socialist?’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31 (1): 3-24.

Piovani, C. (2014) ‘Class power and China’s productivity miracle: applying the labor extraction model to China’s industrial sector, 1980–2007’, Review of Radical Political Economics, 46(3): 331–54.

Qi, H. (2017) ‘Dynamics of the rate of surplus value and the “New Normal” of the Chinese economy’, Research in Political Economy, vol.32, pp.105-129.

Xie, F., A. Li and Z. Li. “Can the Socialist Market Economyin China adhere to socialism”. Review ofRadical Political Economics,45, 4 (2013): 440-448.

Classic Marxist theories

Kautsky, Karl. 1918. ‘Chapter VIII: The Object Lesson’. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat. 1918.

Lenin, V. I. 1918. ‘“Left-Wing” Childishness and the Petty-Bourgeois Mentality’. 1918.

———. 1921. ‘The Importance Of Gold Now And After The Complete Victory Of Socialism’. 5 November 1921.

———. 1922. ‘Eleventh Congress Of The R.C.P.(B.)’. 1922.

———. 1923. ‘Our Revolution’. 1923.

Marx, Karl. 1875. ‘Critique of the Gotha Programme’. 1875.

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