Christian Ploberger

Regime Change and Development In Japan And China From The Early 1970s to the Late 1990s: An Integrated Analysis

Supervisor: Professor Peter Preston

The underlying theme of this dissertation focuses on analyzing complex and incremental change. The overall focus is on the occurrence and dynamic of complex political change: Why it happens; what are the drives; and how we identify the impact of domestic and international factors in that process. Only when we undertake an analysis, which focuses on changes within a specific political-economic setting, will we be able to analyze the extent and dynamic of political-economic change that occurred over a specific period of time.

The argument employed here is, that by using the concept of regime change, we will not only offer a crucial insight into the political-economic system of a country but in addition, it will also enable us to identify the occurrence, dynamic and process of complex political change within a specific system. Regime as applied in this dissertation refers to a middle level of cohesion in the political economy of a nation state. It therefore differs from its common use by linking a regime to a specific government or the state. The concept of regime change will not only enable us to identify the causes and consequences of the interaction between the various subsystems (economic, political and social) on political developments, but in addition, it also enhances our understanding of the process character of politics. It is essential to emphasize that a holistic approach for analyzing complex political change is required as political reality and the underlining dynamic of political change are complex and not open to single-issue analysis, even though it may be fashionable to do so.


Professional Experience

Head of the election campaign office during provincial level elections

Research Assistant (provincial government administration) with a focus on cluster policy and regional innovation policy. The task included contribution to the develop-ment of a regional economic development strategy.

Developing and implementing a finance control and budget planning concept in the manufacturing sector (300 employees)

Academic Experiences

Teaching/lecturing various subjects at different Universities at different levels.

Participating in and conducting various academic research projects, including. con-ducting surveys and academic interviews, field and internet-based research activities, producing written reports,


  • MPhil (Magister, 4 year) Political Science and Selected Subjects (Economics, Sociology and Education Theory), University of Salzburg, topic of the dissertation: A strategic analysis of the current security policy in East Asia (34,000 words); passed with distinction
  • MA International Studies (Security Studies), University of Birmingham; topic of the dissertation: The ambiguous understanding of security – the security concepts of China and Japan.

Research interests

  • Complex political change and state development
  • International Relations and international Relations Theory
  • Climate Change and renewable energy 
  • A geographical focus on East Asia in general and on China and Japan in particular

Professional memberships 

  • Chatham House (student membership)
  • Chinese Economic Association (Europe/UK)
  • British Association of Japanese Studies

Conference papers

‘China’s reform and opening process - a new political-economic model in the making or just the accidental outcome of a step-by-step approach to economic reforms’; pa-per presented at the 23rd CEA(UK) / 4th CEA (Europe) Annual Conference: The Chinese Way of Economic Reform and Development in the Context of Globalization, 2-3 April 2012, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

‘Interpreting China’s development and environmental adaptation challenge by applying the structure-agency framework’, paper presented at the conference China's Economic Dynamic and Its Impacts on the World Economy: A Beijing Consensus in the Making?, 9 September 2011, City University of Hong Kong

‘China’s adaptation challenge: how to facilitate a shift towards a low-carbon economy, in the context of rinsing energy demands, rapid urbanization, ongoing requirement for development.’ presented at the: The 22nd CEA(UK)/3rd CEA (Europe) Annual Conference China's Economic Dynamics and Its Impacts on the World Economy: A Beijing Consensus in the Making?, 14-15 July 2011 University College Dublin

‘Addressing China’s developmental puzzle – meeting the challenges of mounting en-vironmental degradation in the face of rapid urbanization and the necessity of gener-ating economic growth’, paper presented at the conference Reframing Sustainability - Climate Change and North-South Dynamics, 10 - 11 February 2011, University of Helsinki, Helsinki,

‘The role renewable energy resources play in addressing China’s increasing energy needs and to what extent their use can offer an alternative approach to China’s coal based energy generation and the related environmental impact this generates’, pre-sented at the conference: China and the World Economy: crisis, adjustment and global prosperity, School of Economics, Peking University 16-17 Sep. 2010

‘Sustainability, environmental degeneration and Chinas expanding energy need: do various renewable energy sources offer an alternative approach to China’s coal based energy generation’ paper presented at the 21st Conference of the CEA (UK) and 2nd CEA (Europe) Annual Conference; Co-organised by Oxford Department of International Development, 12th -13th July 2010, Oxford University, Oxford

‘Environmental degeneration and climate change a multidimensional (political, eco-nomic, security) challenge for China’s future economic development and its global reputation: a critical assessment’ presented at the Conference ‘China and the Chang-ing Landscape of World Economy – Confucianism and Financial Crisis Management’, September 26th 2009, Renmin University, Beijing

‘Environmental security – is there a need for a new security paradigm? A critical evaluation’ presented at the panel ‘Theories of Green Political Economy’ at the Workshops in Political Theory - Second Annual Conference, 7th-9th September 2005, at Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester

‘Analysing social, political and economic developments in Japan from the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s: the concept of regime change’ presented at the British Association of Japanese Studies (BAJS) annual conference 2005, 6th-8th September 2005, at the University of Kent, Canterbury

‘The relevance of ideas for political and economic analysis: Japanese capitalism’, Paper presented at the 55th Political Studies Association Annual Conference, 4-7 April 2005, University of Leeds, Leeds


  • Chapter in Books

Ploberger, C. (2011) “Environmental degeneration and climate change a multidimen-sional (political, economic, security).challenge for China’s future economic develop-ment and its global reputation: a critical assessment”. In: Zongwei Luo (ed) Green Finance and Sustainability: Environmentally Aware Business Models and Technologies. IGI Global: Hershey. pp. 472-491

Ploberger, C. (2009) “China’s Integration into a Global Economy: A Case of Natural Economic Development or the Deliberate Outcome of Political Decisions to Re-legitimise the Leading Role of the CCP?”. In: Zhongmin Wu (ed) Financial Sector Reform and the International Integration of China. London: Routledge. pp. 224-242

  • Journal Articles

Ploberger, C. (2012) Analyzing Complex Political Change by Applying the Concept of Regime Change: Identifying the Transformations within the Japanese Political-bureaucratic-business Regime. Asian Social Science, 8: (15): 12-23

Ploberger, C. (2011) Local solutions as an element in China’s strategy for sustain-ability?. Local Economy, 26: (5): 439-446

Ploberger, C (2011) China's multidimensional environmental issues a fundamental challenge for China's future development - a critical assessment. East Asia: Interna-tional Quarterly, 28: (1): 1-20

Ploberger, C (2010) China’s reform and opening process – a fundamental political project. Asian Social Science, 6: (11): 28-41