This panel will discuss the comparative political economy of the large middle-income countries. The literature has long suggested that there is something unique about the governance of middle-income nations, which aim to catch up to the leading economies but in ways that are uniquely conditioned by their own historical trajectories and visions of the ideal global order. Analyzing the large middle-income nations of Asia and Latin America, the panel takes on three overlapping themes: 1) in what ways do these nations challenge the existing liberal international order?; 2) what are the political and economic challenges that confront the large middle income nations as they seek to catch up, both by comparison to other developing countries and in contrast to wealthier states?; and 3) what strategies have these nations adopted to overcome the unique challenges they confront on this path?