Precarious Ties, a new book by Meg Rithmire, F. Warren McFarlan Associate Professor of Business, Government, and International Economy at the Harvard Business School, examines business and the state in three authoritarian Asian regimes: Indonesia under Suharto, Malaysia under the Barisan Nasional, and China under the Communist Party. She argues that the leaders and business class in authoritarian countries cultivate symbiotic relationships that benefit both sides—until their economic and political interests diverge. In this episode of On Books, Rithmire describes these corrupt state-business ties and why China’s business leaders are constantly on guard, apprehensive of government meddling.
Precarious Ties: Business and the State in Authoritarian Asia
Oxford University Press: September 18, 2023
A novel account of the relationships between business and political elites in three authoritarian regimes in developing Asia
“[Rithmire’s] comparative analysis of three diverse authoritarian systems masterfully details how trust and alignment between business and the state tend to disintegrate over time, with politically explosive implications. Interested in what China’s growing financial woes might mean for its politics? Read this book.”
— Dan Slater, James Orin Murfin Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan