Matt Ferchen


My primary research focus is Chinese political economy, both at the domestic and international levels. My dissertation was about Chinese state-economy relations, with a focus on informal street vendors and the Urban Management Bureau, or the now-infamous 城管 (chengguan). In the dissertation I also focused on academic and policy debates about how the Chinese state could best provide “market order” (市场秩序)  and promote “stability” while deepening market reform. I have published a comparative analysis on the informal markets in China and Latin America, focusing on the street vendor-chengguan relationship. In addition, I have a longer, peer-reviewed academic article about the “China Model” that builds on my dissertation research. I am currently extending my interest in China’s comparative political economy to new projects on China as a “Developmental State” and on China’s “too liberal” foreign economic policies.

After completing the dissertation and joining the International Relations Department at Tsinghua, I renewed a long-standing interest from my undergraduate and Master’s degree days: China-Latin America relations. A large portion of my academic as well policy research and writing has recently been devoted to the politics of China’s trade and financial relations with Latin America. I have an academic publication on China-Latin America relations and numerous other policy pieces that are also available on my Carnegie-Tsinghua site.


My dissertation: “Regulating Market Order in China: Economic Ideas, Marginal Markets and the State,” PhD Dissertation, Cornell University, January 2008

Peer-Reviewed Academic Publications

My article on the China Model: Whose China Model Is It Anyway? The Contentious Search for ConsensusReview of International Political Economy (RIPE), April 3, 2013

My China-Latin America Relations piece: China–Latin America Relations: Long-term Boon or Short-term Boom?“, The Chinese Journal of International Politics (CJIP), January 28, 2011

Academic Publications in Progress

“Political Risk Analysis with Chinese Characteristics: The Curious Case of Venezuela” For submission to Studies in Comparative International Development (SCID)

“Developmental States vs State Capitalism: China’s Political Economy in Comparative East Asian Perspective” For submission to International Organization (IO)

Policy Analysis and Opinion

Can China Help Fix Venezuela?” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, July 24, 2017

A New Vision for U.S. Engagement with China and AsiaChina-US Focus, May 15, 2017 (with Douglas H. Paal)

How China Is Using Its Economic Goals to Assert Its Global InfluenceThe National Interest, May 9, 2017

Don’t Dumb U.S.-China Relations DownChina-US Focus, February 7, 2017

China, Economic Development, and Global Security: Bridging the Gaps” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, December 9, 2016

How New and Crafty is China’s ‘New Economic Statecraft’?” Working Paper, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 2016

China Keeps the Peace: How Peaceful Development Helps and Hinders ChinaForeign Affairs, March 8, 2016

Creating and Oil-Climate Index: Key Lessons for Asian PolicymakersBoao Review, July 31, 2015/9/17 (with Deborah Gordon and Wang Tao)

Chinese Infrastructure Initiatives in Latin America: A Bumpy Road AheadPhoenix Weekly, June 27, 2015

China and Latin America: Challenges in Pursuing ProspectsPhoenix Weekly, February 5, 2015

China, Latin America, and the End of the Commodity BoomEL PAÍS, January 9, 2015

Crude Complications: Venezuela, China, and the United States” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 23, 2014

Time to Rethink China’s Peaceful Development Policy” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, November 6, 2013

China and Venezuela: Equity Oil and Political RiskChina Brief, Volume 13, Issue 3, February 1, 2013

China’s Risk Analysis in Latin AmericaCarnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, Q&A, January 11, 2013

China’s Misguided Hugo Chávez Love AffairThe Diplomat, November 30, 2012

Comparative informal economy piece: Informality in China and Latin America: Comparisons and InteractionsIn Setting the Agenda: Asia and Latin America in the 21st Century, edited by Ariel C. Armony, University of Miami, Center for Latin American Studies, October 2012: 67-72.

“The China Model in Transition: Domestic and International Implications” Javeriana University, “China and Latin America: Strategic Partners in a Multipolar World?,” September 3, 2012

China’s Latin American InterestsCarnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, Q&A, April 6, 2012

China-Latin America Relations: The End of the Honeymoon?China Brief (AmCham China), Volume 20, Number 1, January/February 2012: 11-12.

Export Dependence: If China Stops, Then What?” (with Alicia Garcia-Herrero) China Economic Quarterly, Volume 15, Issue 3, September 2011: 33-37