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Goldfinch, S. (2016)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: JQ, J, HC
Certainty and clarity of legally defined individual private property rights, protected by and from a constrained state, are doctrines of neoclassical economics-derived development theory. But absent these conditions, there may be alternative mechanisms to provide some protection for business development and property. Using a case study drawn from China, I will argue that collective, contested, ambiguous and perhaps absence of legally defined property rights - and a relatively unconstrained state with limited rule of law - has not led to a failure in economic development terms. In some cases there may have been advantages in the Chinese post-Maoist context with economic liberalisation reforms beginning in 1978, and with the building of meaning and institutions found in a transitional state, where rules are unclear and open to debate, and much is up for grabs. Indeed, ambiguity – where something can be understood in variable ways - may have allowed for innovation and experimentation in this transition.
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