The World as Viewed from China: Theorising Governance, Leadership and Relationality in the 21st Century:
03 Feb 2020-China Report (SAGE PublicationsSage India: New Delhi, India)-Vol. 56, Iss: 1, pp 129-138
TL;DR: The authors examine three influential thinkers from contemporary China, each offering us a distinctive perspective of interrelated aspects of China's place in the world in the twenty-first century, and flesh out implications of each of their arguments in terms of the visions they articulate.
Abstract: The objectives of this review article are straightforward. First, I examine three influential thinkers from contemporary China each offering us a distinctive perspective of interrelated aspects of China’s place in the world in the twenty-first century. Second, I seek to flesh out implications of each of their arguments in terms of the visions they articulate. Finally, I hope to raise some pertinent concerns for students of International Relations (IR) in India based on recent Chinese engagements with International Relations Theory (IRT). In this connection and through the work of these thinkers, I examine strategies that select Chinese scholars have adopted to carve out a global niche for themselves, specifically in the realm of IRT. To disaggregate the road map further, I begin with the work of Qin Yaqing, whose book A Relational Theory of World Politics was published originally in 2012. It was subsequently re-written and translated into English by Qin himself and eventually published by Cambridge University Press in 2018. Two other texts offer us a good sense of Qin’s provenance in theoretical terms. His interview appeared in Theory Talks in 2011 titled ‘Qin Yaqing on Rules vs. Relations, Drinking Coffee and Tea, and a Chinese Approach to Global Governance’. I also rely on a 2018 article in The Chinese Journal of International Politics titled ‘A Multiverse of Knowledge: Cultures and IR Theories’ to bring us up to speed with the latest theoretical inflections and evolution in Qin’s thought. In the latter article, Qin contextualises his work in relation to both Tingyang Zhao and Yan Xuetong. The recent work of all these three scholars is also the focus of this account. The second author and text that draws my attention here is the philosopher Zhao Tingyang’s book titled Redefining a Philosophy for World Governance. It treads important ground in terms of exploring the ideational underpinnings that might inform China’s
TL;DR: Acharya and Buzan as discussed by the authors described the origins and evolution of IR at its centenary, focusing on the first three decades of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century.
Abstract: The making of global International Relations: origins and evolution of IR at its centenary. By Amitav Acharya and Barry Buzan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2019. 396pp. £74.99. ISBN978 1 10848 017 8. Available as e-book.
TL;DR: Acharya and Buzan as mentioned in this paper described the making of global international relations in their book, "The Making of Global International Relations" by Amitav Acharya and Barry Buzan.
Abstract: In what is certainly one of the most ambitions International Relations books written over the past years, “The Making of Global International Relations”, by Amitav Acharya and Barry Buzan, is addre...
TL;DR: This article examined the concept of Tianxia Allunder-Heaven to understand Chinese visions of world order and concluded that Tianxia's most important impact will not be on the world stage but in China's domestic politics, where it blurs the conceptual boundaries between empire and globalism, nationalism, and cosmopolitanism.
Abstract: Lately, there has been increasing interest among international relations (IR) scholars in Chinese thought, both as an alternative to Eurocentric IR, and because the PRC as an emerging power will soon have the institutional power to promote its view of the world. Rather than look for suitable Chinese parallels to “international,”“security,” or other mainstream concepts, this article will examine the concept of “Tianxia All-under-Heaven” to understand Chinese visions of world order. Tianxia is interesting both because it was key to the governance and self-understanding of over two millennia of Chinese empire, and also because discussion of Tianxia is becoming popular again in the twenty-first century as a Chinese model of world order that is universally valid. After outlining a popular discussion of the “magnanimous” and all-inclusive Tianxia system, the article will examine some of the theoretical problems raised by this reading of Tianxia, in particular how its approach to “Otherness” encourages a conversion of difference, if not a conquest of it. It will conclude that Tianxia’s most important impact will not be on the world stage, but in China’s domestic politics, where it blurs the conceptual boundaries between empire and globalism, nationalism, and cosmopolitanism. Hence rather than guide us toward a post-hegemonic world order, Tianxia presents a new hegemony where imperial China’s hierarchical governance is updated for the twenty-first century.
05 Apr 2018
TL;DR: The authors proposes a relational theory of world politics with relationality as the metaphysical component of its theoretical hard core, and uses Chinese zhongyong dialectics as its epistemological schema for understanding relationships in an increasingly complex world.
Abstract: Culture matters in social theory construction because the metaphysical component of the theoretical hard core is primarily shaped by the background knowledge of a cultural community. Individual rationality, a key concept abstracted from Western culture, constitutes the nucleus for much of mainstream Western International Relations Theory. This article proposes a relational theory of world politics with relationality as the metaphysical component of its theoretical hard core. It conceives the International Relations (IR) world as one composed of ongoing relations, assumes international actors as actors-in-relations, and takes processes defined in terms of relations in motion as ontologically significant. It puts forward the logic of relationality, arguing that actors base their actions on relations in the first place. It uses the Chinese zhongyong dialectics as its epistemological schema for understanding relationships in an increasingly complex world. This theoretical framework may enable us to see the IR world from a different perspective, reconceptualize key elements such as power and governance, and make a broader comparison of international systems for the enrichment of the Global IR project.
TL;DR: Yan Xuetong, D.A. Bell and Sun Zhe, translated by E. Ryden, Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2011, 300 pp., $29.95/£20.95 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-69114826-7 This remarkable book de...
Abstract: Yan Xuetong, D.A. Bell and Sun Zhe, translated by E. Ryden, Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2011, 300 pp., $29.95/£20.95 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-691-14826-7 This remarkable book de...
14 Feb 2019
TL;DR: The authors argue that IR needs to continue this globalizing movement if it is to cope with the rapidly emerging post-Western world order, with its more diffuse distribution of wealth, power and cultural authority.
Abstract: This book presents a challenge to the discipline of international relations (IR) to rethink itself, in the light of both its own modern origins, and the two centuries of world history that have shaped it. By tracking the development of thinking about IR, and the practice of world politics, this book shows how they relate to each other across five time periods from nineteenth-century colonialism, through two world wars, the Cold War and decolonization, to twenty-first-century globalization. It gives equal weight to both the neglected voices and histories of the Global South, and the traditionally dominant perspectives of the West, showing how they have moved from nearly complete separation to the beginnings of significant integration. The authors argue that IR needs to continue this globalizing movement if it is to cope with the rapidly emerging post-Western world order, with its more diffuse distribution of wealth, power and cultural authority.