China: Advantages and Risks of the Entrepreneurial State

  • Francesco GrilloEmail author
  • Raffaella Y. Nanetti


The chapter explores a case which may induce political scientists, economists and political economists to review the theories on growth, innovation and democracy, around which their disciplines have been organized. Today, China is the most complete representation of the “entrepreneurial state”, the system which may be indispensable to unfold the potential of the industrial revolution which is defining the twenty-first century. The chapter starts from an analysis of the characteristics of the great leap made by the Empire of the Middle in terms of economic growth, reduction in poverty and innovation. It examines the main challenges—from China’s environmental degradation to the high debt, competition from newer economies and the trade war with the USA. It moves to assess how China is addressing them and it underlines that the key of China’s approach is the original use of technologies as a tool to address the problems of its middle-income society. It inquires about the characteristics that make the Chinese central planning apparatus and the Communist Party overcome the obsolescence that killed other communist experiences. A brief comparison between China and Asia is carried out to understand whether China is part of an Asian regional model. The chapter draws conclusions and provides ten recommendations about five assets to preserve and five vulnerabilities to defeat, around which China may design its evolving strategy to become a “moderately prosperous country” in the next few years.


Entrepreneurial state Industrial revolution China Asian miracle Technology adoption 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sant’Anna School of Advanced StudiesPisaItaly
  2. 2.University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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