Ling Chen

Ling Chen, PhD

Assistant Professor
International Political Economy
China Studies

BOB 735B

Expertise

Regions
  • Asia
  • China
  • East Asia
Topics
  • Globalization
  • Emerging Markets
  • Political Economy & Development
  • International Political Economy

Background and Education

Ling Chen is Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Before joining the school's faculty in 2015, she was a Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University and Rajawali Fellow at the Ash Center of Harvard Kennedy School. Her research interests lie in comparative politics, Chinese politics, and political economy of China and East Asia, especially the political origins of economic policies and government-business relations. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in The China Journal, New Political Economy, Politics & Society, Review of International Political Economy, and World Development. Chen was recognized as the Emerging Diversity Scholar by the University of Michigan. Her research has received support from institutions such as the Social Science Research Council (Andrew Mellon Foundation), Institute for Humane Studies, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University.

Chen's forthcoming book examines the local politics of making and implementing economic policies in China under the conditions of globalization and decentralization. Especially, the manuscript explores how the earlier promotion of foreign direct investment and exports cultivated fragmented coalitions within the city bureacracy and influenced the allocation of resources to foreign and domestic businesses in the current period. She also has ongoing research papers on tax incentives and mobility at the firm level and the political incentives of taxation at the city level of China. Chen's second book project examines the paradoxical relationship between capitalism and authoritarinism in China. 

Chen teaches courses on comparative politics, China's political economy, and development strategies in East Asia. For information, please visit her personal website.

 


Download Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Publications 

 

Manipulating Capitalism: The Influence of Bureaucrats on Business in China (Forthcoming Stanford University Press)

 

“Grounded Globalization: Foreign Capital and Bureaucrats in China’s Economic Transformation.”World Development 98 (2017): 381-399.  (Link)

 

“Varieties of Global Capital and the Paradox of Local Upgrading in China,” Politics & Society 42, no.2 (2014): 223-252. 

 

“Playing the Market Reform Card: The Changing Patterns of Political Struggle in China’s Electric Power Sector,” The China Journal, no. 64 (2010) : 69-95.

 

“Institutional Inertia, Adjustment, and Change: Japan as a Case of Coordinated Market Economy,” Review of International Political Economy 15, no. 3 (2008) : 460-479. 

 

“Preferences, Institutions and Politics: Re-Interrogating the Theoretical Lessons of Developmental Economies,” New Political Economy 13, no. 1 (2008) : 89-102.

 

 

Works in Progress

 

"Capital Mobility and Taxation: Evidence from China." with Florian Hollenbach  (Data analysis)

 

"Who Gets Government Funding and Tax Breaks? Evidence from China." (Data analysis)

"Political Incentives and Taxation in China" (Data gathering)

 
...
 
...


Fall 2016 
This course exa...
This course examines the political and institutional foundations sustaining contemporary China’s economic growth and reforms, as well as the consequences of its transition. The course focuses on several paradoxes. How does China push for market-oriented reforms without democratizing the authoritarian political system? Is the state still in control in today’s economy? How does China reconcile the communist party ideology with its fast-growing private sector, and with elements of capitalism? How does the state balance the centralization and decentralization of economic policy making and implementation? What are the interest groups and strategies behind China’s selective embrace of globalization, and how did foreign investment and trade influence domestic politics and policies? What are the challenges for sustaining the “China model?” We will examine these important questions through a combination of conceptual frameworks, case studies, and policy analysis.
 
The course begins with a section introducing the politics of post-Mao economic reforms.  This section clarifies the logic and measures of the reform initiative, the intricate balance of central-local relations, and the economic policy making process and implementation struggles. The second section explores major debates about contemporary Chinese political economy. Topics covered in this section include the important (and often controversial) role of the local government, the reformed yet still powerful state-owned sector, the rise of private businesses and their political attitudes, and the associated rise of informal and shadow banking. The third section examines the process and consequences of China’s opening to foreign investment and trade, focusing on the interest groups and strategies behind its internationalization and the ways in which globalization has influenced domestic politics and governance. The fourth section examines the challenges of sustaining the “China model,” including China’s position on the global value chain and the development of wind and solar sectors. The section ends with a broader view by placing China’s political economy in a comparative perspective with other Asian economies. 
Spring 2016 
In the 20th and...

In the 20th and 21st centuries, most developing countries tried various ways to promote economic growth, but few managed to catch up with developed countries. The East Asian countries were exceptions, and their success and development strategies were studied, analyzed and debated in academic and policy circles. This course examines and compares development strategies in East Asia within domestic and global contexts through four sections. The first section investigates the individual cases of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore in the context of the rise of developmental states. This section focuses on government-business relations, institutions, and policies that influence the choices and outcomes of their development strategies. The second section engages students in a cross-regional perspective by comparing East Asian countries within and beyond their own region, with special attention to why certain development strategies work in some political and economic contexts but not others. The third section examines the case of China against the East Asian development model, discussing the domestic and international contexts that led to China’s distinctive trajectory. The fourth section places the East Asian development model within the context of globalization. It draws attention to the challenges that globalization brought to state-led development strategies, especially after the Asian financial crisis. It also discusses the distinctive role of these countries in global production networks as well as regional integration through mutual trade and investment.  The course aims to facilitate understanding of the development policies in East Asia both in terms of specific contexts and in a cross-regional perspective.

Spring 2017 
This is a surve...
This is a survey course in comparative politics that provides an overview of major theoretical approaches and issue areas in the field of comparative politics. It exposes students to a wide range of themes through reading of foundational work each week. The course starts by introducing competing theoretical approaches adopted by scholars of the field, including the state-centric, comparative historical, rational choice, and institutional perspectives. Using these approaches, the course then proceeds to examine issue areas such as political economy of developed and developing countries, democracy and authoritarianism, voting and parties, nationalism and ethnic politics, and the international context of domestic politics.