UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


The Connections World: The Future of Asian Capitalism

23 January 2023, 4:00 pm–6:00 pm

Book cover of The Connections World: The Future of Asian Capitalism

Centre for New Economic Transitions (CNET) at UCL SSEES is delighted to invite you to this book event celebrating the publication of “The Connections World: the future of Asian capitalism” (Cambridge University Press) by Simon Commander (IE Business School) and Saul Estrin (LSE). The authors will present their findings and discuss their work with the audience.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to









Masaryk Room
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton street

Book summary:

A central feature of modern Asia that trumps differences in economic and political systems is the web of close relationships running between and within business and politics; the connections world. These networks facilitate highly transactional interactions yielding significant reciprocal benefits. Although the connections world has not as yet seriously impeded Asia's economic renaissance, it comes with significant costs and fallibilities. These include the creation and entrenchment of huge market power and the attenuation of competition. They in turn hold back the growth in productivity and innovation that will be essential for further development. The connections world also breeds massive inequalities that may culminate in political instability. The authors argue that if Asia's claim to the 21st century is not to be derailed, major changes must be made to policy and behaviour so as to cut away the foundations of the connections world and promote more sustainable economic and political systems.

This event will be take place in-person and will also be livestreamed online https://ucl.zoom.us/j/95331365326


Simon Commander is Managing Partner of Altura Partners providing policy advice to governments and companies in emerging economies and Visiting Professor at IE Business School where he teaches in the MBA Programme. He was previously at London Business School where he was Director of the Centre of New and Emerging Markets. From 1988 to 1998 he worked at the World Bank in Washington DC and from 1998 to 2011 he was Senior Adviser at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London. His research is largely centred on emerging markets with an increasing focus on policy design and implementation, particularly in the labour market. He holds a MA from Oxford University and a PhD from Cambridge University.

Saul Estrin is a Professor of Managerial Economics and Strategy and the Founding Head of LSE’s Department of Management. He was formerly Adecco Professor of Business and Society at London Business School where he was the Research Director of the Centre for New and Emerging Markets and Director of the CIS Middle Europe Centre. Saul was also Deputy Dean (Faculty and Research) at London Business School for six years as well as briefly Acting Dean. Saul’s main areas of research are emerging markets, with a particular focus on entrepreneurship and international business issues, transition economies, notably Central Europe and China where he studied privatization and company restructuring, and the BRICs where he explored the relationship between their institutions and their growth. He has been a visiting Professor at Stanford University, Michigan Business School, Cornell University and the European University Institute. He is an AIB Fellow and an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford University.


Tomasz Mickiewicz research is on the role of formal and informal institutions in economic performance, entrepreneurship, and foreign direct investment. He also publishes on populism and state capitalism in Central Europe. His papers appeared in leading entrepreneurship, regional economics, and international business journals. Ranking of the Rzeczpospolita journal placed him as the fifth most cited Polish economist worldwide. He serves as an editor of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, and before that he was an editor of Regional Studies. He works as the 50th Anniversary Professor of Economics at Aston University, Birmingham, UK, and he is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. His highest academic degree is habilitation in economic theory from Maria Skłodowska-Curie University in Lublin.

Anastasia Papadopoulou is a Lecturer in Economics at the University of Bristol. Her main fields of research are on Applied Microeconomic Theory and Experimental Economics, with a particular focus on Political Economy. She holds a PhD from the University of Leicester (2022) and she has previously taught at the University of Athens, University of Portsmouth and the Open University. She has also worked as a Research Associate in an ESRC impact accelerator grant project in conjunction with the University of Leicester and Mattioli Woods PLC. As an Early Career Researcher, Anastasia’s current papers have been presented in several international conferences and workshops and her paper on Identity and Corruption is currently under review in a top field journal. Anastasia is also a member of the British Academy South West ECR Network and maintains a broader research interest in social norms, economics of migration, and economic pedagogy.