When Socialists Marketize: The Case of China’s Wind Power Market Sector

Julia Kirch Kirkegaard, Koray Caliskan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper analyzes China’s attempt at maintaining and stabilizing the market framing of wind power development as ‘sustainable.’ Drawing on mixed data and new directions in the social studies of marketization, the analysis focuses on the Chinese government’s responses to the ‘quality crisis’ in the wind turbine industry. Employing five types of framing – goods, marketizing agencies, market
encounters, price-setting, and market design and maintenance – the paper sheds light on flexible government interventions to steer the socio-technical assemblage around wind power towards a ‘turn to quality.’ In essence, this is a study of market construction in the context of Chinese wind power experiments. The paper contributes to new directions in market studies by (1) demonstrating the importance of attending to the contested algorithmic transformation of wind
resources to wind power; (2) taking market studies to a transitional and developmental context, which renders marketization prone to constant overflowing; and (3) elucidating a particular Chinese model of experimental market construction ‘through embracing overflowing.’ The paper proposes new trajectories for future market studies with a focus on non-Western contexts, to reveal the wide variety of how marketization unfolds.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cultural Economy
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)154-168
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Published online: 21. December 2018


  • Chinese wind power
  • Development marketization
  • Socio-technical assemblage
  • Experimentalism
  • Framing
  • Sustainability

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