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Commodifying Communism

Commodifying Communism
Business, Trust, and Politics in a Chinese City


Part of Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences

  • Date Published: September 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521798419

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About the Authors
  • Commodifying Communism is an ethnographically grounded account of the institutional organization and political consequences of China's historically unprecedented market growth. Drawing upon almost two years of ethnographic fieldwork, this book challenges conventional views of post-communist emerging markets being tied to the retreat of the state. David Wank shows how entrepreneurs running private trading companies in Xiamen City, Fujian Province (one of China's five special economic zones) maximize profit and security through patron-client networks with local state agents. The book examines how processes of opportunity, exchange, expectations, and advantage are constrained by both statist and popular institutions in market clientelism. It also considers the implications of market clientelism for the dynamism of China's emerging market economy relative to Eastern European post-communist economies and its political consequences for state-society and center-local relations.

    • First ethnographically based account of the institutional organization of a post-communist economy
    • Social network analysis of China's private business sector that integrates market, cultural, and political factors
    • A view from the front-lines of China's market economy
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2001
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521798419
    • length: 314 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Orientation of the study
    2. Institutional commodification: concepts and categories of analysts
    Part I. Instituted Processes of Commercial Clientelism:
    3. The structure of commercial opportunity of Xiamen
    4. Symbiotic transactions between private firms and public units
    5. Enhancing expectations: the social organization of contracts
    6. Entrepreneurial paths and capital: personal attributes as competitive advantage
    Part II. Economic and Political Outcomes:
    7. Comparing economic performance in China and Eastern Europe
    8. The transformation of political order
    9. Epilogue: evolutionary trends in the 1990s.

  • Author

    David L. Wank, Sophia University, Tokyo

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