Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences: Series Number 14: Commodifying Communism: Business, Trust, and Politics in a Chinese City

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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.