China-inspired Digital Industrial Policy as a Challenge to the Liberal Script? Evidence from East Central Europe and Russia
The study explores how different European national states deal with the question of digitalization and digital industrial policy inspired by China given its problematic potential for the liberal script. Countries that have ambitions in the area of digital transformation of the economy on the one hand and are in the midst of a “turn to Asia” on the other – Poland, Czech Republic and Russia – will serve as case studies. The project will examine whether they perceive the Chinese model of capitalism, especially its digital component, as a model to follow or they consider the liberal script, on the whole or only its economic component, more attractive and promising for their development. Another important subquestion the project asks is how these countries deal with the question of potential illegitimacy of certain aspects of digital industrial policy. Varying levels of commitment to democracy and of entrenchment of democratic institutions are hypothesized to explain eagerness to follow the Chinese model and to cooperate with China in the area of digital transformation of the economy and the society.