Prokla 119: Kapitalismus in China (Summaries)


in (10.06.2000)

Summaries aller Aufsätze der Prokla 119, Vol. 30 (2000), Nummer. 2 in englischer Sprache

SUMMARIES PROKLA 119, Vol. 30 (2000), No. 2

Hansjörg Herr: The Chinese Model of Accumulation and the Flaws of Traditional Development Theories. The gradual character of the Chinese transition process was much more successful than the transition in Russia. The basis for high growth in China can be found in high investment. The latter was driven by state-owned enterprises (SOEs). But since several years SOEs have been realising high losses and have to be restructured. China seems to enter a new stage of development towards a capitalistic economy. These developments are not without economic and political risks. Traditional development theories have great difficulties to understand and to explain the Chinese development.

Shaun Breslin: Growth at the Expense of Development? Chinese Trade and Export-Led Growth Reconsidered. Whilst rather modest compared with later changes, the adoption of a more open policy towards the global economy in 1978 marked a fundamental ideological shift that was a pre-requisite for all that was to follow. One of the results is, that the impressive growth of chinese economy was an export-led growth. Between 1993 and 1995 exports increased by 60 per cent in two years, and doubled in the space of five years. As such, export growth became the safety net for domestic restructuring. It was a means of maintaining employment, creating new jobs, and essentially providing the opportunity to deal with the domestic economy whilst not sacrificing growth or dramatically increasing urban unemployment. But one must question whether the growth of the processing trade provides a firm foundation for long term sustainable growth in China.

Dagmar Yu-Dembski: Women in China - Transformation and Social Change. The transformation in China since the eighties from a planned economy to a more market oriented economy led to significant changes in the social structure. The effects on women are different depending (amongst other things) on where women live: In the countryside or in the cities.

Raymond W. K. Lau: China's Privatization. During the last ten years Chinese government's attitude towards private enterprises has shifted significantly. Early in the 90s private capital was regarded as a mere supplement to the state sector of the economy, but since the 15th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 1997 the private sector has been regarded as an ,,important component part" of the economy. This policy shift occured because Chinese economy went into serious difficulties threatening the reform process. Declining profits of state owned enterprises, caused by shrinking monopoly rents, the high gearing of these firms, over capacities due to a duplicative industrial structure emerging as a result of an ill framed system of management in the early stages of reform and a severe fiscal crisis, brought about by eroding fiscal revenue speeded up privatization of all kinds of firms and fostered the sale of state equities in listed companies. Thus state budget simply was lacking the funds for restructuring state owned enterprises and no realistic alternative to privatization remained.

Zhongliang Shi: Strategic Restructuring of state-owned Enterprises in China: The author, president of the Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics at Peking and personally involved in the process of economic restructuring, describes the Status Quo and the future measures concerning privatization in China. Zhongliang represents the official view about how to reform the state-owned Enterprises (SOE). He emphasizes the necessity to reduce the sector of SOEs by privatization of small SOEs and private equity partizipation in large SOEs which were to be transformed into corporations (shareholder companies).

Markus Pohlmann: Max Weber and the ,,confucian capitalism". In explanations of the path of capitalist development in East Asia, the idea of ,,confucian capitalism" became well accepted in the past two decades. Turning on the one hand Weber upside down (by changing the direction of his explanation), most authors did rely on the other hand on his theoretical approach. But, by comparing Webers approach with the mode of explanation applied in recent studies, the article does reveal the theoretical flaws as well as the weak empirical base of the intended cultural explanations. ,,Confucian capitalism" seems not only to be a rather misleading catchphrase, but as such also a barreer to sound cultural explanations of capitalist development.

Raimund Feld: Sweden: From the ,,third way" of the Eighties to the ,,globalized social democracy" of the 21. century?. There was an impact of neoliberalism on the Swedish model over the past twenty years. Its main political driving force was the social democratic party. It is argued that neoliberalism had a major impact first on the level of discourse and then, from 1990 onwards, on the policy level as well. As a result, the gap between the Swedish model and continental welfare states is found to be narrowing, the universalism of the model itself being undermined as those who can afford to do so more and more frequently choose to pay for better services on the market while others are relegated to means-tested social assistance and social services increasingly starved of resources.