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Title: The political economy of UK-China economic relations, 1997-2015
Author: Fry, Samuel Nathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 0541
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis seeks to explain the evolution of UK-China economic relations in the period 1997-2015. The UK and China are two of the most powerful countries in the world, with large economies, sizeable military expenditures and considerable voice in international institutions. China has seen substantial economic growth throughout the period, overtaking the UK in terms of total GDP in the late 2000s. Perceptions of China have also changed, as the 1990s optimism of the ‘unipolar moment’ changed by the 2010s to a greater recognition of the potential challenge China poses to the liberal global order. This thesis aim to fill the gap in UK-China literature by exploring how bilateral economic relations have changed as China has grown and played a more active global role during the period. To do this, a four-level game model based upon Putnam’s (1988) two-level game is built to make sense of the relevant domestic, national and supernational actors and to identify the changes that have occurred. There are five games on four levels: the UK domestic politics, the Chinese domestic politics, the EU, international institutions and then the bilateral relationship. Changes have occurred in each of these games, but Chinese economic growth is the most important factor. The thesis is structured around four main topics: human rights, trade, investment and finance. Each of these topics is analysed empirically using archival work, elite interviews and quantitative analysis. The thesis argues that UK-China relations have been predominantly an economic relationship with human rights having been reduced in significance as China became more powerful. The primary source of this power was investment, as the UK economy became sensitive to Chinese government decision making. However, whilst there has undoubtedly been a power shift, this shift has been exaggerated by perceptions of China as a rising superpower.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HC Economic History and Conditions ; HF Commerce