Thursday, January 18, 2024 | 12:00 AM EST - 12:00 AM EST
Meg Rithmire’s book, Precarious Ties: Business and the State in Authoritarian Asia, compares state-business relations in China, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It explains why initial partnerships for growth between political and business elites disintegrated into corruption and financial instability in all three countries, and why some patterns of corruption and cronyism are more destructive for economic and political stability than others. She argues that China is similar to Indonesia in many ways, with endemic distrust between business and political elites creating a form of “mutual endangerment.” In both countries, fraud, asset expatriation, and cronyism reflect mutual enmeshment in illegal dealings to guarantee safety. In recent years, the CCP has pursued discipline of the private sector that seems to borrow from Malaysia, especially the party-state in corporate governance roles.
In an interview conducted on January 18, 2024, Meg Rithmire, in conversation with Yeling Tan, focuses on the relationship between business and the state in China.
Meg Rithmire is the F. Warren McFarlan Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Her primary expertise is in the comparative political economy of development with a focus on China and Asia. Her first book, Land Bargains and Chinese Capitalism, examines the role of land politics, urban governments, and local property rights regimes in the Chinese economic reforms. She also explores the role of the Chinese Communist Party in China’s political economy, and trade and investment conflict between China and the United States. Her work has appeared in International Security, World Politics, the China Quarterly, and Politics & Society, among other journals, and her commentary in The Atlantic and the Washington Post. She sits on the editorial boards of The China Quarterly and the China Journal.
Dr. Rithmire holds a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University and is a fellow in the NCUSCR Public Intellectuals Program.
Yeling Tan is a professor of public policy at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government. She is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Her areas of research are in international trade, globalization, economic development and industrial policy, with a focus on China. Dr. Tan’s latest book is Disaggregating China, Inc: State Strategies in the Liberal Economic Order, which was awarded the Katzenstein and Georgetown Lepgold book prizes. Her articles have been published in Comparative Political Studies, the Review of International Organizations, International Studies Quarterly, the China Journal, Governance, and Global Policy. She has also written for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy and Bloomberg Opinion.
Dr. Tan holds a Ph.D. and an MPA from Harvard University, and a BA from Stanford University. She is also a fellow in the National Committee’s Public Intellectuals Program.