☻ Reform Through Leadership in China’s State-Owned Economy. Under review.
☻ “The Political Mobility of China's Central State-owned Enterprise Leaders.” The China Quarterly (March 2018).
Extensive research on the political mobility of Chinese officials at central, provincial, municipal and county
levels has yet to fully consider an important group of elites – the leaders of China’s core central state
owned enterprises (SOEs). This paper presents the first systematic analysis of their political mobility
between 2003 and 2012 using an original biographical dataset with 864 leader-year observations. Under
the Hu Jintao administration, these leaders emerged as a distinctive group within China’s top political
elite: increasingly well-educated but lacking experience beyond state-owned industry, with both
lengthening leadership tenures and years of previous work in their companies. Instead of a “revolving
door” through which these individuals rotate routinely between state-owned business and the party-state
to positions of successively higher rank, a top executive posting was most often a “one-way exit” to
retirement. Of those who advanced politically, virtually all were transferred laterally along three career
pathways with little overlap: to other core central SOEs; provinces; and the centre. This paper
underscores the theoretical importance of disaggregating types of lateral transfer to research on Chinese
officials’ political mobility and the cadre management system.
☻ "Firm Control: Governing the State-owned Economy Under Xi Jinping," China Perspectives (July 2018).
How has the Xi Jinping administration recentralised authority over China’s politics and economy? Studies
of Xi’s rule often suggest that his “core leader” status, revolutionary heritage, and informal network of
loyalists underpin this consolidation of central control. In contrast, this article focuses on the state sector
to highlight how the Xi administration’s recentralisation of authority is grounded in existing governance
mechanisms and techniques: central leading small groups, the cadre management system, Party
committees, and campaigns. Using policy documents and an original dataset on central state-owned
enterprise leaders, I provide evidence that the Xi administration has leveraged each of these four
methods to reclaim central authority relative to the preceding Hu Jintao administration. These findings
contribute to scholarship on adaptive authoritarian governance and economic reform in China by
underscoring that administrations can use existing instruments of central control in divergent ways.
☻ “The Organizational Politics of Economic Reform in China.”
☻ “Innovation Through Iteration: Policy Feedback Loops in China’s Economic Reform.”
☻ “Personnel Power: Governing State-Owned Business in China.” (With Samantha A. Vortherms, UC Irvine).
☻ “From Contractors to Stakeholders? Chinese State-owned Companies and Overseas Infrastructure
Work in Progress
☻ “Building National Champions: Enterprise Groups in China and Japan.” (Data collection and analysis stage)
☻ “China's Bilateral Investment Treaties: 'Legal Balancing' in East Asia.” (Data collection and analysis stage)
( * For further information about any of the papers listed above, please contact me)