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Title: The People's Republic of China and the IMF
Author: Wang, Jue
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis looks into the relationship between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since the PRC regained its IMF membership in 1980. It initially analyzes the China-IMF relationship with socialization theoretical framework, attempting to explore how the IMF has socialized China into accepting neoliberal international economic norms. The research borrows Alastair Johnston’s ‘microprocesses’ of socialization to assess the processes of IMF socialization via financial assistance, technical assistance, and surveillance and policy advice for China. The research shows socialization has taken place to a moderate degree, as IMF programs have had some impacts on China’s domestic economic and financial liberalization. Yet no evidence shows the IMF has convinced China to fully redefine its economic principles and norms. Socialization turns out to be an inadequate analytical approach to analyzing the China-IMF relationship in the long run. The research continues with a supplementary theoretical framework: principal-agent theory. Principal-agent theory overcomes some of the technical deficiencies in socialization theory, and helps us understand more thoroughly China’s role in the IMF and the governance of international financial economy in general in the long run. China is regarded as the principal, and the IMF as China’s international organization agent. Driven by its objective of acquiring a larger influence in the governance of international financial economy, China delegates several tasks to the IMF so that the Fund can accomplish these tasks more efficiently than if China took other cooperative or unilateral approaches. China-IMF interactions are assessed following a four-stage analytical approach based upon the key concepts of principal-agent theory. China’s and the IMF’s institutional features and functions are examined as important factors of the China-IMF relationship. They include China’s preferences regarding IMF operation, China’s role in IMF governance, and China’s impact among IMF staff. Based on this examination, the consequences of China’s delegation of tasks to the IMF are assessed. This dissertation indicates that the IMF plays a limited role in assisting China to access larger influence in the governance of international financial economy, because of the IMF’s westerndominated staffing rules, unbalanced governance structure, preference deviation from China, inadequate resources, and China’s incapability to facilitate strict controls on the IMF. The thesis contributes to the so far thin literature on the China-IMF relationship with selected case studies such as IMF Article IV Consultation for China, China’s role in IMF quota and voting share reforms, IMF staff with Chinese nationality, and so on. The research provides a model for analyzing the relationship between China and international organizations with a combination of socialization and principal-agent theoretical frameworks. Last but not least, it extends the research subject of principal-agent theory in international organization Studies to include an emerging market economy state as the principal, which correctly implies the increasing influence of emerging market economies in the governance of international political economy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Department of Politics and International Studies ; University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JQ Political institutions (Asia ; Africa ; Australia ; Pacific Area ; etc.)