Christopher Marquis is Sinyi Professor of Chinese Management at the Judge Business School of The University of Cambridge.
He and his co-author, Kunyaun Qiao, have written the book, MAO AND MARKETS: The Communist Roots of Chinese Enterprise, published by Yale University Press. It explores the seeming contradiction of capitalism under Chinese Communist Party rule. Part history, part economics, it uses the tools of academic data analysis to assess how China’s economic success is being shaped by the ideology and philosophy of Chairman Mao Zedong.
Professor Marquis’s interest in China began while he was in high school, when he did an independent research project on the role of Confucianism in contemporary China. He first traveled there in 1996, and he has marveled at the speed with which the mudflats across the Huangpu River from Shanghai’s waterfront became the city of Pudong, the financial capital of China, where three of the tallest buildings in the world now stand encircled by 20 miles of high rises. He spoke with entrepreneurs from many regions of China and brings their very human stories to his narrative.
His earlier book, BETTER BUSINESS: HOW THE B CORP MOVEMENT IS REMAKING CAPITALISM, focused on the ways companies can effectively shift from a shareholder to stake holder orientation.
We spoke with Christopher Marquis on November 21, 2022.
After learning of President Xi’s early life experiences – his being “sent down” from Beijing to manual labor in a remote, rural area for 7 years after the purging and arrest of his father, Xi Zhongxun, during the Cultural Revolution, made me think of his contemporary, Ai Weiwei, and his early life experiences. Born in 1957 in Beijing, he was exiled in 1958 when his father, poet Ai Qing, was accused of “rightism”. How differently the two men influence the world today. One, a ruthless authoritarian consolidating close to absolute control over the lives of 1.4 billion people, and the other undaunted, despite brutal state repression, in his artistic expression of beauty, creativity and human rights.
We end this edition of Forthright Radio with excerpts from an interview with Ai Weiwei from Oct. 9, 2017 on Democracy Now! You can link to the full interview here: World-Renowned Artist Ai Weiwei on His Childhood in a Labor Camp, Art, Activism, Prison & Freedom https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/9/world_renowned_artist_ai_weiwei_on
Hu Jintao’s removal from the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hu_Jintao%27s_removal_from_the_20th_National_Congress_of_the_Chinese_Communist_Party