Capitalism, cronyism and corruption in the post-Tiananmen era in China will be the focus of the next Modern China Lecture Series at Cal State San Bernardino on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Minxin Pei, the Tom and Margot Pritzker '72 Professor of Government and director of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at Claremont McKenna College, will present “The Origins and Dynamics of Crony Capitalism in China: Insights from 260 Cases of Collusive Corruption.”

The free event is schedule to take place at 2 p.m. in the John M. Pfau Library room PL-4005. Parking at the university is $6.

“I can’t think of a more insightful and authoritative writer in academia or beyond to provide our campus community with an introduction to this timely topic,” said Jeremy Murray, coordinator of the lecture series and assistant professor of history. “From his regular contributions to numerous media outlets, to his unassailable research and scholarship, when Pei speaks, people listen.”

Pei, the author of “China’s Crony Capitalism: The Dynamics of Regime Decay (Harvard, 2016),” will talk about corruption in the post-Tiananmen era, which he says exhibits distinct characteristics such as astronomical sums of money looted by officials, their family members, and their cronies in the private sector, large networks of co-conspirators, and the sale of public office.

“We can trace the emergence of crony capitalism to two critical changes in the control of property rights of the assets owned by the state and the personnel management of the officials the ruling Communist Party,” he said in a synopsis of his talk. “The insights from a sample of 260 cases of corruption involving multiple officials and businessmen suggest that crony capitalism in China has given birth to a decentralized kleptocracy with its own market rules and dynamics.”

In addition to his post at Claremont McKenna College, Pei is  a non-resident senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He also is the author of “China's Trapped Transition: The Limits of Developmental Autocracy (Harvard, 2006)” and “From Reform to Revolution: The Demise of Communism in China and the Soviet Union (Harvard, 1994).”

Pei has published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, The Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Project Syndicate,, Nikkei Asian Review, and many scholarly journals and edited volumes. He was a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1999-2009)  and an assistant professor of politics  at  Princeton  University  (1992-1998). He received his Ph.D. in government from Harvard University in 1991.

The Coyote Bookstore will be selling copies of “China’s Crony Capitalism: The Dynamics of Regime Decay” at the lecture at the discounted price of $29, and Pei will be available to sign copies.

The Modern China Lecture Series was initiated to promote awareness of important issues related to China for those on the CSUSB campus and in the community. In the series of more than 30 lectures, workshops, film screenings, and roundtable forums since January 2014, China scholars from UC San Diego, UC Riverside, the Claremont Colleges, UCLA, USC, UC Irvine and other institutions have visited the CSUSB campus to share their expertise and opinions. 

Speakers in the series have included specialists in history, economics, political science, philosophy, finance, security studies, literature, anthropology and other fields.

The Modern China Lecture Series is sponsored by the CSUSB Department of History, the History Club/Phi Alpha Theta, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Extended Learning, the Center for Global Management/Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration, the College of Arts and Letters, John M. Pfau Library and the Intellectual Life Fund. Special thanks to History Department coordinator, Pam Crosson, as well as Iwona-Maria Luczkiewicz Contreras (Pfau Library) and Alan Llavore (Strategic Communications).

For more information on the Feb. 8 event or the Modern China Lecture Series, contact Jeremy Murray, assistant professor of history, at (909) 537-5540 or