Global Governance and China: The Dragon’s Learning Curve, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Global Governance and China

The Dragon’s Learning Curve, 1st Edition

Edited by Scott Kennedy


290 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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This volume offers systematic analysis of China’s growing engagement in global governance institutions over the past three decades. During this period, China has gone from outsider to observer to insider. The volume is based on studies of Chinese involvement in a wide cross section of regimes, including trade, finance, intellectual property rights, foreign aid, and climate change.

The contributions show that China’s participation in global governance reflects the mutually interactive processes of China’s own socialization into the global community and the simultaneous adaptation of global institutions and actors to China’s growing activism. Both China and the international system are internally complex. Hence, Chinese engagement varies across economic regimes, yielding different results in terms of Chinese compliance, its influence on regimes, and the extent of cooperation and conflict in addressing challenges in international society. The chapters reveal that China is neither purely a savior nor scofflaw of the global economic system, and while China is a defender of the status quo in some areas, it is a reformer in others, and occasionally a revisionist in still other spheres.

A detailed analysis of many areas of global governance, this volume will be essential reading for students and scholars of international relations, Chinese studies and global governance.


‘China's growing participation in the institutions of global economic governance in recent years is undeniable, but discussion of them is too often facile. This volume, which brings together an impressive group of scholars, serves as a major contribution to our understanding of the substantial variability of China's behavior over a wide range of economic regimes, and why the details matter.’

- Margaret M. Pearson, University of Maryland, USA

‘China’s emergence as an economic superpower is the defining event of our times. Its smooth integration into the global economy requires adjustments both on its part and on the part of international institutions. This insightful book shows how the adjustment is proceeding in different areas – trade, finance, G20 coordination – and what are remaining challenges. An essential read for understanding China’s role in the world.’

- David Dollar, John L. Thornton China Center, Brookings, USA

A distinguished roster of Chinese and American scholars offer an original and convincing perspective on China's influence over global governance. Issue area by issue area, the authors illuminate both domestic and international drivers of China’s orientation toward global economic institutions.

- Miles Kahler, American University and Council on Foreign Relations, USA

Table of Contents

Introduction: Learning to be insiders

Scott Kennedy

1. China and the WTO

James Scott and Rorden Wilkinson

2. Being in the WTO: China's learning and growing confidence

Wang Yong

3. Chinese and Japanese FTA strategies and their implications for multilateralism

Wei Liang and Junji Nakagawa

4. Organizational factors in China's GPA accession negotiations

Tu Xinquan

5. China and the G20: A reform-minded status-quo power

Ren Xiao

6. China's role in global governance: A comparison of foreign exchange and intellectual property

Bruce Reynolds and Susan K. Sell

7. China’s involvement in global health governance: Progress and challenges

Yanzhong Huang

8. Learning by doing: China's role in the global governance of food security

Katherine Morton

9. China's rise as development financer: Implications for international development cooperation

Xu Jiajun

10. China and global labor standards: Making sense of factory certification

Tim Bartley & Lu Zhang

11. Domestic politics and Chinese participation in transnational climate governance

Thomas Hale & Charles Roger

About the Editor

Scott Kennedy is Deputy Director of the Freeman Chair in China Studies and Director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

About the Series

Global Institutions

The "Global Institutions Series" is edited by Thomas G. Weiss (The CUNY Graduate Center, New York, USA) and Rorden Wilkinson (University of Sussex, UK).

The Series has two "streams" identified by their covers:

  • Blue covers offer comprehensive, accessible, and informative guides to the history, structure, and activities of key international organizations, and introductions to topics of key importance in contemporary global governance. Recognized experts use a similar structure to address the general purpose and rationale for specific organizations along with historical developments, membership, structure, decision-making procedures, key functions, and an annotated bibliography and guide to electronic sources.
  • Red covers consist of research monographs and edited collections that advance knowledge about one aspect of global governance; they reflect a wide variety of intellectual orientations, theoretical persuasions, and methodological approaches.

Together these streams provide a coherent and complementary portrait of the problems, prospects, and possibilities confronting global institutions today.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General