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Imitate and Overtake?

Imitate and Overtake?

(p.159) Chapter Five Imitate and Overtake?
Global Rivalries
Amy A. Quark
University of Chicago Press

This chapter demonstrates why we should expect conflict-driven processes of institutional change to be incremental in nature. Emerging rivals remain dependent on existing arrangements even as they pursue redirection strategies to reconstitute them in their favor. China emerged as a powerful rival in part due to the United States’ liberal market project and the institutions that facilitated it. In its redirection strategy to retool existing rules, the Chinese state found itself dependent not only on aspects of the existing standards and dispute settlement rules but also on the broader institutional framework at the WTO that shaped how rules could be made. This institutional dependence made the Chinese state’s redirection strategy necessarily focused on incremental changes as it first had to master the existing arrangements before trying to introduce changes. Thus, the Chinese state sought to import and imitate institutional forms from the United States as a way to solve the problems of institutional dependence and institutional incongruities and ultimately overtake these institutions.

Keywords:   Institutional change, Incremental change, Redirection strategy, Institutional dependence, Institutional incongruities, China, World Trade Organization

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