Political Implications of a Slowdown

How will the economic turmoil in Asia affect China’s domestic politics and foreign policy? This question is difficult to answer because doing so requires more knowledge than we now possess, knowledge about the nature of the current economic context and its probable evolution, as well as the links between economic forces and political outcomes. Yet insufficient knowledge, whether factual or theoretical, is a problem that usually bedevils policy analysts. The best that social scientists can do is to offer forecasts with varying levels of confide rice, or provide competing hypotheses about causes and effects that may serve as alternative road maps for interpreting events as they unfold.

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