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Inside Out India and China

Local Politics Go Global

William Antholis

Publication Year: 2013

For the last decade, China and India have grown at an amazing rate —particularly considering the greatest downturn in the U.S. and Europe since the Great Depression. As a result, both countries are forecast to have larger economies than the U.S. or EU in the years ahead. Still, in the last year, signs of a slowdown have hit these two giants. Which way will these giants go? And how will that affect the global economy? Any Western corporation, investor, or entrepreneur serious about competing internationally must understand what makes them tick. Unfortunately, many in the West still look at the two Asian giants as monoliths, closely controlled mainly by their national governments. Inside Out, India and China makes clear how and why this notion is outdated.

William Antholis —a former White House and State Department official, and the managing director at Brookings —spent five months in India and China, travelling to over 20 states and provinces in both countries. He explored the enormously diversity in business, governance, and culture of these nations, temporarily relocating his entire family to Asia. His travels, research, and interviews with key stakeholders make the unmistakable point that these nations are not the immobile, centrally directed economies and structures of the past.

More and more, key policy decisions in India and China are formulated and implemented by local governments —states, provinces, and fast-growing cities. Both economies have promoted entrepreneurship, both by private sector and also local government officials. Some strategies work. Others are fatally flawed. Antholis's detailed narratives of local innovation in governance and business —as well as local failures —prove the point that simply maintaining a presence in Beijing and New Delhi – or even Shanghai and Mumbai —is not enough to ensure success in China or India, just as one cannot expect to succeed in America simply by setting up in Washington or New York. Each nation is as large, vibrant, innovative, diverse, and increasingly decentralized as are the United States, Europe and all of Latin America … combined. China and India each have their own agricultural heartlands, high-tech corridors, resource-rich areas, and powerhouse manufacturing regions. They also have major economic, social, environmental challenges facing them. But few people outside these countries can name those places, or have a mental map of how the local parts of these countries are shaping their global futures. Organizations, businesses, and other governments that do not recognize and plan for this evolution may miss that the most important changes in these emerging giants are coming from the inside out.

"This book is for people who wonder about the inside of China and India, and how different local perspectives inside those countries shape actions outside their borders. Though my family and I spent five months traveling in both countries to do research, this book is not a travelogue. Rather, it is an attempt to sketch how a few of China's and India's many component parts are being shaped by global forces —and in turn are shaping those forces —and what that means for Americans and Europeans conducting diplomacy and doing business there." —from the Introduction

Published by: Brookings Institution Press

Series: Brookings FOCUS Book

Front Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 4-9

Contents, Maps

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pp. vii-x

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1. Jigsaw: Counting to 1.3 Billion

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pp. 1-8

People who work in finance often speak of the magic of large numbers. The same applies to politics. To manage the biggest challenges facing the planet, China and India must be at the table. Steering the world economy, combating poverty, slowing global warming, preventing nuclear war—these are big and hard problems. ...

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2. Less Than Perfect Unions

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pp. 9-36

When Chairman Mao Zedong and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru established China’s and India’s modern systems in the late 1940s, both feared the power of provinces and states. Over six decades later, China’s and India’s most dynamic locales have pulled these two countries into leadership positions in the world economy. ...

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3. China: Promised Lands, Heartlands, Badlands

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pp. 37-85

Today’s China is a crowded three-panel landscape painting. The first panel is a vibrant entrepreneurial coast. The second is a rising, inland region, where most Chinese live and where state-led economic growth dominates. The third is a remote, restive, but resource-rich west. ...

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4. India: Forward States, Backward States, and Swing States

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pp. 86-131

India, like China, now has both spectacularly wealthy urban centers and also hundreds of millions who live in rural poverty. India’s coast, like China’s, now features states that are global trade and investment hubs. Its hinterlands, like China’s, struggle to generate sustained economic growth, to responsibly steward natural resources, ...

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5. Power Politics, Inside Out

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pp. 132-160

Since Hu Jintao and Manmohan Singh took power in the early 2000s, China and India have regularly pledged greater cooperation with the United States and Europe on finding reliable, affordable, and sustainable sources of energy. One could predict that their regular summit meetings with industrial powers would touch on energy cooperation. ...

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6. Differently the Same: Inside Out Diplomacy

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pp. 161-188

China is not only Beijing and Shanghai; India is not only New Delhi and Mumbai. The United States and Europe need to understand the range of important localities in the world’s two largest nations, and they also must actively engage with those local communities and their leaders. ...

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pp. 189-196

There are many great research institutions in the world, but none more supportive, collegial, and interdisciplinary than Brookings. Three years of planning and execution went into this short book, along with considerable help from many Brookings colleagues. ...


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pp. 197-224


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pp. 225-235

Back Cover

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pp. 249-249

E-ISBN-13: 9780815725114
E-ISBN-10: 0815725116
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815725107

Page Count: 235
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Brookings FOCUS Book
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OCLC Number: 855969686
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