David Zweig: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Feng Yang: University of California, Los Angeles
This paper applies the model of diffusion outlined by Solingen (International Studies Quarterly, 56, 2012, 631) to the case of Chinese who studied abroad after 1978. It assesses the ability of those who have not returned to pressure the state to introduce Western academic, scientific, and business norms. It looks at the role of the returnees and national leaders in introducing these norms, particularly as a means to create world-class universities, scientific research centers, and modern private firms. It demonstrates the power of firewalls (including institutional leaders, the Chinese marketplace, and administrators who lose under reform) to block the diffusionary process.