Globalization, international coalitions, and domestic reform
This article considers the impact of China's insertion into the global political economy on the nature of political power in China. It argues that for most of the period of the transition from socialism, state leaders attempted to protect domestic interests where possible from the perceived detrimental impacts of globalization. However, China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) marked a key shift in this strategy. Through the creation of an international coalition for reform, key state leaders used WTO entry as a tool to enforce change on reluctant domestic constituents, rather than the earlier strategy of protecting them from competition and change. While domestic reform efforts have been responsible for many of the changes to the Chinese regime, external actors and interests have also played an important role in altering the fundamentals of politics in the People's Republic of China, and in particular, changing the raison d'être of Communist Party rule.