Adam Smith Program
Department of Economics · George Mason University

Evan Osborne (Wright State University): The Odyssey of Economic Liberalism in China since 1842


Start Time
Saturday, 4 Feb 2023
End Time
Saturday, 4 Feb 2023
Adam Smith Program

Economic liberalism was one of several shocking ideas that arrived in China after the country was forced open by several Western powers after 1842. The talk will discuss the state of the Chinese economy and economic thought when it arrived, the reaction it received, the extraordinary transformation liberal policies brought to much of the country between 1842 and 1927, and the loss of confidence in and therefore forcible erosion of economic liberalism beginning well before 1949. Also discussed will be its near-extinction after the communist triumph, followed by its partial revival, driven by desperation, from the late 1970s. The talk will conclude by speculating on the future.

Suggested background reading: “Classical Liberalism in China: Some History and Prospects” (2017)