The global market and China's right to speak: evaluating the ideas that drive Chinese discussion of trade policy

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David Murphy's research seeks to identify the ideas which form the Chinese discourse on trade policy and their relative influence. It is inspired by apparent shifts over the past decade away from neoliberal justifications for policy decisions as a growing suspicion towards China’s treatment in global markets has taken hold.

This is expressed in many ways, including distinct Chinese terms like huayuquan—the power to speak and be heard—and China’s lack of it in global markets. The thesis paper draws on the large amount of Chinese academic and media analysis on three aspects of trade policy—protectionism, export controls and state control of pricing negotiations.

In each case, he will first identify ideas and how they are represented and plot them on a matrix that locates both their ideological foundation and their policy recommendations. Second, in order to determine which ideas are most influential, Murphy will analyse the behaviour of powerful interests that have actively lobbied for a particular policy outcome. He will apply approaches developed in the political science sub-field of corporate political analysis to identify these powerful interests and track their behaviour. He anticipate this distinctive approach to discourse analysis will strengthen understanding of the scope of debate in China behind trade policy decisions and offer a useful framework for Chinese discourse analysis in other policy areas.

About the Speaker

David Murphy is a PhD candidate focused on the political economy of enterprise and government in China. He came to ANU following several years in Beijing as a consultant and translator after completing an honours (first class) degree in Chinese studies at the University of Melbourne and advanced mandarin training at the Inter University Program at Tsinghua University. He established China Industry Brief, a translation and Chinese-language research service, in 2013.


David Murphy

Dates & times

Thursday, 26 March 2015

2.00pm - 3.00pm


Seminar Rooms, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU

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