The Mandarin Learning Curve: The Case of China and Technical Standards
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From Scott Kennedy’s bio: My interest in East Asia comes from two sources; the first is my interest in world affairs in general, and the second is my family’s experience in the region. My grandmother lived in Macau and wrote for the Christian Science Monitor in the early 1970s, and my uncle has lived in Japan for most of the past 40 years. Further prompted by my grandfather, an engineer who had traveled to Asia, I tried a Chinese language course my second year in college. But it was a semester in Beijing in 1988 – meeting average Chinese, riding on trains, and bicycling down Changan Avenue through Tiananmen Square – that sealed my fate as someone who wanted to make China a part of my career. My work is motivated by a concern for interest groups, an effort to utilize multiple research methods (including cross-country comparisons), and a desire to contribute to the public policy conversation. My current book project, "Mandarins Playing Capitalist Games," is on the growing participation of Chinese industry and government in international economic regimes, such as antidumping and technical standards. I want to understand how Chinese learn, utilize, and shape the rules of the international system, not just to be good citizens and comply with their commitments, but to further their interests. My other current project is an edited volume, Beyond the Middle Kingdom, which examines various aspects of China’s political economy in comparative perspective. In each of these areas I attempt to speak to both academic and public policy audiences in the US, China, and elsewhere. Also, I edited China Cross Talk (2003), a collection of speeches, testimony, essays, op-eds, and cartoons that encapsulate the fascinating debate Americans have had over the past 30 years about China policy.