The Impact of Ideology and Politics upon Modern Economics in China

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-10-30-41

O. Borokh (,
Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (IDV RAN), 32, Nahimovskii Prosp., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article analyzes the influence of the task set by the Chinese leadership to create “social sciences with Chinese characteristics” based on Marxism, national tradition and Western theories on the advancement of economics in the PRC. China seeks to bring its academic concepts to the outside world to provide foreign experts with tools for the analysis of Chinese development. A special priority is given to the task of constructing political economy of socialism with Chinese characteristics which can give China additional advantages in intellectual rivalry with the West and present a new economic vision to developing countries. The arguments that due to the growth of the country’s global influence and the inability of existing theories to explain Chinese practice, new economic theories will certainly emerge in the country, are less and less satisfying to the Chinese academic community. However, the scholars admit that China’s superiority in the development of economic theories is in its ability to rely on the rich cultural tradition. The struggle of Chinese researchers for the “right of voice” in economics is aimed at reducing the influence of liberal interpretations of reforms in the country. Problems in the development of political economy in China are attributed not only to Western, but also to Soviet influence. The absence of generally recognized political economy of socialism with Chinese characteristics is explained by insufficient development of productive forces and immaturity of China’s economic system. The researchers claim that the generalization of successful experience of economic transformation will be possible only when the country completes the transition to the socialist market economy. The exploration in “political economy of socialism with Chinese characteristics” got intertwined with commenting on “Xi Jinping’s economic ideas”. Upon the example of the discussion about the relation between supply-side structural reform and Western economic doctrines it was concluded that the emphasis on the involvement with modern economics generates arguments about the lack of independence of Chinese concepts, while emphasis on the uniqueness of Chinese experience calls into question the prospects of creating in China an economic theory with universal significance. In the history of economics there is no precedent of emergence of an outstanding theory based on the “top-down” decision of the national leadership. At the same time, the framework of “philosophy and social sciences with Chinese characteristics” encourages academics to look for a way to combine foreign concepts with Chinese tradition and economic practice of present-day China. 

Keywords: Xi Jinping, social sciences, economic reforms, political economy, supply-side structural reform 


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For citation:
Borokh O. The Impact of Ideology and Politics upon Modern Economics in China. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2019, vol. 63, no. 10, pp. 30-41.

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