Alvin A. Camba

Alvin Camba

Alvin A. Camba is a Doctoral Candidate in Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. He uses mixed-methods approaches to derive the determinants of [Chinese] foreign direct investment (FDI), the dynamics of elite competition, and the political-economic effects of capital mobility on the developing world. He has been awarded the Terence K. Hopkins Best Graduate Student Paper Award (honorable mention) from the American Sociological Association (ASA), the Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Publication Research Award (honorable mention) from the Critical Realism Research Network, and the pre-Dissertation fellowship from the Southeast Asian Research Group (SEAREG). Some of his works have appeared in Journal of Agrarian Change, Palgrave Communications, Extractive Industries and Society, Everyday Political Economy of Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press), and New Directions in the Study of China and Africa (Routledge).

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“Sinews of Politics: State Grid Corporation of China and Rent Seeking Investment Coalitions the Philippines”

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) became the first Philippine president to recognize China’s inevitable role in the global economy, setting aside her country’s territorial claims in the South China Sea in order to strengthen bilateral ties. The strong political relationship between the two countries culminated in more than 20 major investments from Chinese state-oriented enterprises (SOEs) in the Philippines. By the end of her term, however, all the major deals were canceled because of intense political contention of Arroyo’s enemies. If all the major Chinese projects failed, why did the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) succeed? Examining an original dataset alongside in-depth interviews with Chinese investors, politicians, and social movement leaders, this paper finds that the completion or non-completion of Chinese FDI projects depends on the investment coalition that these investors form with host state actors. Drawing from the literatures of political coalition, rent seeking, and elite theory, the framework explains why some investment coalitions are more successful than others.

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Mr. Camba will be on the second panel (“China at the Center of the World Stage”), along with Patrick Hulme and Anand Mishra, at the 7th SAIS Asia Conference, March 30, 2018. [See also the full conference agenda.]

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