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ISSN (Print) 1996-7845

ISSN (Online) 2542-2081


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Jiejin Zhu

China’s Path Selection in Global Governance Reform

2020. Vol. 15. No. 3. P. 248–281 [issue contents]
With the rise of China, reforming the global governance institutions has become an important part of China’s diplomacy. Based on whether to build new international rules or reinterpret or redeploy the existing ones, we can divide the rising power’s paths in global governance reform into four types: displacement, layering, conversion and avoidance. Why does China adopt different paths toward reforming the existing international institutions which are dominated by the U.S.? Building on the theory of “gradual institutional change” in historical institutionalism, this article argues that the veto capability of the established power and the flexibility of the existing international institution are two determinants of the rising power’s path selection in global governance reform. It applies this theoretical framework to explain China’s behaviour in four issue areas: sovereign credit rating, the international monetary system, free trade agreements and multilateral development banks. In sovereign credit rating, the strong veto capability of the U.S. and the low flexibility of the existing international credit rating institution make China adopt the path of avoidance. In the international monetary system, the strong veto capability of the U.S. and the high flexibility of the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights make China adopt the path of layering. In free trade agreements, the weak veto capability of the U.S. and low flexibility of the Trans-Pacific Partnership make China adopt the path of displacement. In multilateral development banks, the weak veto capability of the U.S. and high flexibility of World Bank rules make China adopt the path of conversion.
Citation: Zhu J. (2020) China’s Path Selection in Global Governance Reform. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 15, no 3, pp. 248–281 (in English).
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