PhD defence by Zhen Lu

PhD student

Zhen Lu

Thursday 24 Jun 2021, 10:00 - 12:00
PhD defence
Spoken Language
This defence will take place online
International Institute of Social Studies
Ticket information

Due to the coronavirus, the defence will not take place publicly in the usual manner in the Auditorium. The candidate will defend her thesis either in a small group with personal invitations or online.

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On 24 June 2021, Zhen Lu will defend her PhD thesis entitled 'The Role of Local Governments in Emerging Regional Business Systems: A comparative analysis of Zheijiang and Yunan Provinces'

Zhen Lu's research studies the changing roles of local governments in influencing the dynamic regional business systems in the transitional heterogeneous Chinese economy. In order to examine the evolving regional business systems, this research:

  1. brings the regional state into business systems theory, given that both the varieties of capitalism approach and conventional business systems theory ignore regional differences
  2. connects evolutionary perspectives and business systems theory, given that the varieties of capitalism approach and business systems theory have both been criticized for developing a relatively static approach
  3. highlights the unique form of decentralization in China which shapes the role of the state and the regional business systems

Research questions

The specific research questions she aims to answer in her comparative study of Zhejiang and Yunan provinces are:

  • what are the existing regional business systems in Zhejiang and Yunnan?
  • how and why have specific regional business systems and development trajectories been formed and evolved over time in Zhejiang and Yunnan?
  • how has the role of local governments evolved in the transitional economy?
  • will regional differences and distinctive regional development trajectories in Zhejiang and Yunnan converge or diverge over time?

Doctoral board


Professor Inge Hutter

Doctoral dissertation supervisors

Professor Bert Helmsing
Dr Jan Fransen

Members of the Full Doctoral Committee

Professor Yang Chunxue, Capital Economics and Trade University
Dr Rachel Xiang Feng, Shanghai Normal University
Professor Jurian Edelenbos, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Professor Peter Knorringa, International Institute of Social Studies
Dr Georgina Gomez, International Institute of Social Studies

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