The Politics of Intellectual Property in China: Larger Lessons for Today, May 7, 2012

Guest lecture with Associate Professor Andrew Mertha on intellectual property rights (IPR) in China

Monday, May 7, 2012 - 10:00 to 12:00

It is commonplace to say how quickly things are changing in China; but it is easy to forget how some things change very slowly, if at all.  As the recent stories of fake Apple Stores in Kunming make clear, the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) remains a serious issue in China.  Yet the problems that existed a decade ago – that is, the Chinese bureaucracy’s inability to rein in local interests – remains as intractable today as then.  Moreover, as China’s leaders attempt to construct a development model to maintain growth rates, Center-local tensions will be at the very forefront of Chinese politics to a degree not seen since the beginning of the reform era.  In this talk, Andrew Mertha discusses these larger trends through the lens of IPR as an issue of bureaucratic politics, as distinct from one of legal development and reform. 

Andrew Mertha is Associate Professor of Government at Cornell University, specializing in Chinese and Cambodian politics.  He has written two books, The Politics of Piracy: Intellectual Property in Contemporary China (2005), and China’s Water Warriors: Citizen Action and Policy Change (2008).  He is currently working on a manuscript of Sino-Cambodian relations, focusing on the effects of institutional fragmentation on foreign aid.  Professor Mertha has lived in China for seven years from 1988 to the present.



The guest lecture is free of charge and everybody is most welcome, but please register at  


The page was last edited by: Communications // 09/26/2023