China: Governing Stability at Home and Abroad

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Speaker: Matt Ferchen

In post-Mao China, one of the most important but understudied themes in domestic governance is how the state has sought to maintain economic, social and political 'stability' while pursuing Reform and Opening. It's often taken for granted that the state values stability above almost all else and that 'development' both requires stability and contributes to it. Yet what stability and development are, and how they are related or contested, are questions that are far too often taken for granted. Yet beyond China's domestic political-economy, the proposed virtuous development-stability circle is now of growing relevance for China's role in global affairs, but this relationship too remains under-analyzed. China's core Peaceful Development foreign policy framework takes the domestic development/stability nexus and applies it to foreign affairs: China's role as an agent and leader of development in its own region and beyond requires a stable, peaceful international environment and also actively creates the conditions for stability, security and peace. If such concepts and propositions are open to interpretation and contestation domestically, they are multiples more so at the international level. In this presentation, This presentation will explore the connections between the domestic and global dimensions of the Chinese development-stability nexus and suggest reasons why further understanding them is important for both academic and policy studies of China.  Matt Ferchen is a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. From 2008 to 2017 he was a faculty member in the Department of International Relations at Tsinghua University where he taught courses on China's domestic and international political economy. Ferchen's research interests span a wide range from the study of the governance of Chinese urban informality to the 'China Model' of development to China's foreign relations with developing countries, especially in Latin America. Ferchen also works with a number of international NGOs and foundations on their strategies for effectively engaging with China as its global role expands and changes. He has a Master's degree from Johns Hopkins SAIS and a PhD from Cornell University.