Kyle Alan Jaros

China Public Policy Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School's Ash CenterHarvard University

Award Information

2011 IDRF Program

Department of GovernmentHarvard University

Foreign Economic Strategies of China's Interior Provinces

My dissertation project examines the varied strategies China’s interior provinces have adopted over the past two decades to boost their foreign economic ties, and the political factors behind these strategies. In contrast with the well-known economic success of China’s coastal areas, interior provinces have struggled to tap into the world economy since they began “opening up” in the early 1990s. Despite lagging far behind the seaboard, however, interior provinces have been eager to access international capital, markets, and expertise. Taking advantage of the administrative discretion Beijing gives them, these provincial governments have mounted a range of efforts to jumpstart foreign trade, investment, and people flows. My preliminary research suggests that despite facing similar challenges, interior provinces have displayed varying levels of initiative and taken different policy approaches in their efforts to internationalize. I hope to explore this variation in provincial foreign economic strategies, and to examine its political and economic causes and consequences. To do so, I will carry out a comparative study of policy-making in eight interior provinces between 1992 and 2010, including intensive case analyses of Shaanxi and Sichuan. An International Dissertation Research Fellowship would enable me to travel to Beijing, Shaanxi, and Sichuan for 10 months of interview, archive, and library research to collect information on provincial politics and policy-making that is unavailable outside of China.