Dr. Ken Lieberthal
National Committee director Dr. Kenneth Lieberthal discussed his new book, Managing the China Challenge: How to Achieve Corporate Success in the People's Republic, during a public program on May 24. Dr. Lieberthal's book focuses on the implications of China's political economy for multinational corporate strategies.
Dr. Lieberthal began by describing China’s political economy: “The Chinese Communist Party, if it were accurately named, would be called the Chinese Bureaucratic Capitalist Party.” He proceeded to explain the workings of the bureaucratic capitalist model at each level of government – national, provincial, municipal, and county – and how it relates to the actions of individual officials.
Dr. Lieberthal then described the effects of the system on GDP growth, environmental law, intellectual property, and local protectionism. Before opening the floor to questions, he explained how multi-national corporations can compete effectively in China: “I think multi-nationals need to take extremely seriously tier two and tier three cities as a major focus of their business development strategies.”
Dr. Lieberthal wears several hats at the Brookings Institution: he is a senior fellow in foreign policy and in global economy and development; he is also the director of its John L. Thornton China Center. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, where until 2009 he was the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Political Science and the William Davidson Professor of Business Administration. Dr. Lieberthal earlier taught at Swarthmore College from 1972 to 1983. He has a B.A. from Dartmouth College, and two M.A.'s and a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.