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The Economic Ascent of China and the Potential for Restructuring the Capitalist World-Economy
Journal of World-Systems Research (2004)
  • Paul Ciccantell
  • Stephen G Bunker

The economic ascent of China in the past

two decades is the most dramatic change in

the capitalist world-economy of this period.

Analyses focus on changes in government

control of the economy, the availability of low

cost workers for export production, the historical

characteristics of Chinese economy

and society, and the role of the Chinese government

as a developmental state. All highlight

key parts of China’s economic ascent, but

none addresses what we argue will be the critical

component of future sustained economic

ascent, if it is to take place in China: the role

of raw materials and transport industries as

generative sectors.

These generative sectors in the most successful

historical cases articulate domestic

economic development with the creation of

new systems of international economic and

political relations, ultimately restructuring

the capitalist world-economy in support of a

nation’s ascent to core status and its ability

to challenge the existing hegemon and other

ascendant economies for hegemony. China

is following the Japanese model of coastal

greenfield heavy industrialization as state

policies focus on deepening industrialization

in steel, shipbuilding, and other heavy industries.

However, following the models of earlier

ascendant economies does not guarantee

success. In this paper, we analyze the efforts

underway in China to use steel, coal and

other linked industries as driving forces for

sustained economic ascent, and the potential

consequences of these efforts for China and

for the world economy.

Publication Date
Citation Information
Paul Ciccantell and Stephen G Bunker. "The Economic Ascent of China and the Potential for Restructuring the Capitalist World-Economy" Journal of World-Systems Research Vol. 10 Iss. 3 (2004)
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