China and Global Governance: What Have We Learnt So Far?

Lecture | April 18 | 12:30 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 Yves Tibergien, Director of the Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia

 Kevin O'Brien, Political Science, UC Berkeley

 Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS), Center for Chinese Studies (CCS)

How disruptive is the rise of China to the global order? Is China acting as a disruptor, a systematic stabilizer, or global governance innovator? The talk addresses these questions through a focus on global economic and environmental governance. At a time of new global systemic risks and demands, fundamental power shift, and global institutional erosion, China’s actual global behaviour exhibits a high degree of diversity. Yves Tiberghien maps out this behavior across domains and argues that China’s behaviour in any particular global governance arena is driven both a process of learning and a strategic dynamic of exit and voice. China has gradually accepted that the continuation of its domestic modernization (the China Dream) requires investment in the global system. Yet, China’s investment in the global system follows a highly interactive negotiated process with other systemic powers. The talk focuses on five contrast cases: G20, Paris Agreement on climate change, Belt and Road Initiative, and development financing (AAIB) and trade.


Yves Tiberghien (Ph.D. Stanford University, 2002) is the Director of the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Executive Director of the UBC China Council, and Associate Professor of Political Science. In 2014-2016, Dr. Tiberghien also served as Co-Director of the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA), which he founded as Chair of the UBC Public Policy Curriculum Committee in 2014. In 2014-2015 he chaired the President’s ‘Ad-Hoc Committee on International Strategy.’

Dr. Tiberghien is a Senior Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada, a Senior Fellow with the Global Summitry Project at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and a visiting professor at Tokyo University. He is a Faculty Associate at both EHESS and Sciences Po in France. Dr. Tiberghien is a Harvard Academy Scholar (2004-2006 at Harvard). He has held visiting positions at Sciences Po Paris, National Chengchi University, and the Jakarta School of Public Policy.

He specializes in East Asian comparative political economy, international political economy, and global economic and environmental governance, with an empirical focus on China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia.

In 2007, he published Entrepreneurial States: Reforming Corporate Governance in France, Japan, and Korea (Cornell University Press in the Political Economy Series directed by Peter Katzenstein). His most recent publications include three books (亚洲与世界未来 (Asia and the Future of the World). Beijing: 社会科学文献出版社 (Social Sciences Academic Press, China) ; L’Asie et le futur du monde, Paris: Science Po Press, 2012; and Leadership in Global Institution-Building: Minerva’s Rule, edited volume, Palgrave McMillan, 2013). He has published many articles and book chapters on the Japan’s and China’s political economy, on global governance, global climate change politics, and on the governance of agricultural biotechnology in China and Japan.

On the domestic side, Dr. Tiberghien focuses on state responsiveness, innovative capacity, and adaptability to global economic forces and global risks. He has an interest in comparative institutional reforms that address the middle-income trap and the resource curse, as well as in the interface between global economic forces and domestic politics. His works also focuses on trade-offs between economic policy goals and public goods such as biodiversity protection, transparency in food policy, and climate change issues.

On the global side, Dr. Tiberghien focuses on the ongoing transition in the global economic and environmental order, in the face of new systemic risks, a changing balance of power, and the rise of populist political forces. He is also currently working on articles and a book on China’s role in global governance (including G20, AIIB, climate change, Belt and Road Initiative), as well as articles on the tensions between global integration and forces of entropy in the global economic system. He is leading an international team on the Paris Agreement on climate change. Dr. Tiberghien founded the Vision 20 group in 2015, a new coalition of global scholars and policy-makers aiming at providing a long-term perspective on the challenges of global economic and environmental governance. The V20 held two summits (Hangzhou, 2016, and Washington DC, 2017:, 510-642-2809