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In this talk, Hilton Root talks about his new book ‘Network Origins of the Global Economy’, in conversation with Dr. Xin Sun.

Root’s highly original work uses the tools of network analysis to understand great divergence of China and the West, particularly those concerning economic development and globalisation. Hilton L. Root shifts attention away from particular agents – whether individuals, groups, nations or policy interventions – and toward their dynamic interactions. Applying insights from complexity science to often overlooked variables across European and Chinese history, he explores the implications of China's unique trajectory and ascendency, as a competitor and counterexample to the West.

This event is part of the Lau China Institute’s Book Talk Series for 2022.

About the speakers

Dr. Hilton L. Root is Fulbright Senior Distinguished Chair in the Social Sciences at King’s College London and Professor of Public Policy at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. He is a recipient of the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award for Public Policy at King’s College London. He has held academic appointments at the UIBE (Beijing), Caltech, University of Penn, and Stanford University.

He has authored more than 200 publications and ten books. His most recent book Network Origins of the Global Economy: East vs. West in a Complex Systems Perspective is published by Cambridge University Press (2020). He will be exploring the triangular relationship between the US, the UK, and China that has been increasingly rancorous with the trade war, disputes over South China Sea, China’s “wolf warrior diplomacy”, and most recently, Covid-19. Is a new Cold War at our doorstep? He will delve into the historical legacies, cultural divergence, ideological differences, and institutional distinctions that are lying underneath these confrontations.

Dr. Xin Sun is Senior Lecturer in Chinese and East Asian Business. He received his PhD in political science from Northwestern University in 2014. Prior to joining King’s, he held academic positions at the University of Oxford and Trinity College Dublin.

Xin’s research interests include political economy and government-business relations in China, as well as research methodology. He is particularly interested in the interplay between formal and informal institutions in authoritarian regimes and how the two types of institutions jointly shape economic and policy outcomes as well as business behaviours.

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