Pre-Conference Training Workshop: The Systemic Dynamics of China’s Economic Development and the Systematic Implications for Contemporary Capitalism

2 July 2019, Tuesday

Sciences Po Lille

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This workshop aims to discuss the political economy of China’s development and its relationship with world capitalism from a historical materialist perspective. The first session will offer a perspective on the interactions between the Market Reforms and neoliberalism; the second session will look into some recent cinematic presentations of the “Chinese worker”, and argue how this stereotyping may preclude a fuller understanding of the dynamic reality of the Chinese proletariat; the third session will explore how the questions Lenin raised in his article Our Revolution may be answered by a socialist political economy that critically assimilates and transcends the theory and practice of Smithian/neoliberal and Listian/Keynesian market economics.


TimeSeminar topicSpeakers
09:00 – 10:00Welcome and GreetingsParticipants
10:00 – 10:15IntroductionDic LO (Reader, SOAS, University of London)
10:15 – 12:15China’s economic development and Market Reforms in the context of neoliberal globalisation

The nature and dynamics of China’s Market Reforms has been a subject of great contention. This paper will argue that China is, by and large, an exception to the norms of world neoliberalism and how the Chinese state’s zigzags between submission and resistance to neoliberalism reflects the contending tendencies inherent in the Market Reforms. Language: English
Dic LO &Sam-Kee CHENG (PhD student, SOAS, University of London)
12:15 – 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 – 15:00The “Chinese worker”: Image and Reality
What is the “Chinese worker”? This forum will critically assess the iconic still lifes in films such as Piano in a Factory《钢的琴》(2010), 24 City《二十四城记》(2008), Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks《铁西区》(2003) and The Verse of Us《我的诗篇》(2015), and argue how the diverse living realities of the Chinese proletariat could be better expressed with a grasp of the country’s political economy.
Language: Chinese and English
Hong WANG (Associate Professor, Art College of Southwest University for Nationalities, Sichuan, China)

15:00 – 15:15Break
15:15 – 17:00From Lenin’s questions in his last years to a socialist political economy for China today
This paper will argue that grasping the full relationship between necessity and contingency is crucial in refashioning historical materialism. Towards the end of his life, in response to the social-democratic orthodoxy that socialism can only be built on the basis of the most advanced capitalist economy and culture, Lenin argued that the Russian Revolution was not a freak of history and it was possible to economically catch up with advanced capitalism with a non-capitalist political system. China could provide an example of how Lenin’s challenge may be answered in practice.
Language: English
Jie MENG (Professor, Fudan University, Shanghai, China)

17:00 – 17:15ConclusionDic LO

Registration: Free online registration via

For those who would also like to attend the IIPPE conference (3 to 5 July) as auditor, you can first register for the conference via and then proceed to payment via the same link (80 euros for auditors).

Organiser: IIPPE China Working Group (Contact: Sam-Kee Cheng

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