Focused Leadership: China’s New Role in Global Economic Governance

  • Sebastian Bersick (Autor/in)
  • Jörn-Carsten Gottwald (Autor/in)


China’s rise in global politics and economics has further fueled perceptions of an East Asian dominance of global institutions. From a power-shift perspective, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) provides a window of opportunity for a rising power to change existing norms and organizations and to push for the creation of new ones. Although the PRC reluctantly took center stage in the global efforts to contain the crisis and provide better institutions for future crisis prevention and management, its contributions to the G20 have been rather limited. This gap between high expectations due to a fundamental shift in opportunities and relatively low policy outcomes can be explained through an analysis of domestic expectations, intra-elite role prescriptions, and the difficulty in agreeing on a new national role conception in China. At the same time, the PRC has become very active in specific policy areas. The country follows its own pattern of incrementally extending its influence and building up long-term resources. Bearing all this in mind, we argue that the PRC has adopted the role of providing focused leadership in a new era of global economic governance.