State and Capitalist Class in China's Economic Transition: From Great Compromise to Strained Alliance

Abstract

This article contributes to the debate on the role of the Chinese state in economic transition by shedding light on the relationship between the state and the emerging domestic capitalist class. In contrast to the literature that regards the state as a supra-class developmental state, we argue that the relation between the state and a new capitalist class is the product of a two-way movement of top-down forces and bottom-up forces over the course of a transition from a stage of what we call ‘Great Compromise’ to a stage of what we call ‘Strained Alliance.’ The state-class relation has evolved with the dynamics of class conflicts, external constraints, and contradictions within regimes of accumulation.

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