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  • Author: Joseph MacKay
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: International relations scholars have recently taken increased interest in empire. However, research has often focused on European colonial empires. This article aims to evaluate imperialism in a non-Western historical setting: Late Imperial China. The article first compares extant international relations (IR) accounts of empire (one broad and one narrow) to theories of the East Asian hierarchical international system. Second, to further specify analysis, I evaluate IR theories of empire against the historical record of the Ming and Qing dynasties, addressing Chinese relations with surrounding 'tributary' states, conquered imperial possessions, and other neighboring polities. I argue that while IR theories of empire capture much of the region's historical politics, they nonetheless underspecify it. Theories of East Asian hierarchy suggest additional mechanisms at work. The historical cases suggest extensive variation in how empires expand and consolidate. I conclude that there is room for further theory building about empire in IR and suggest possible areas of emphasis.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Author: Shaun Breslin, Jinghan Zeng, Yuefan Xiao
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: As China has grown stronger, some observers have identified an assertive turn in Chinese foreign policy. Evidence to support this argument includes the increasingly frequent evocation of China's 'core interests'—a set of interests that represents the non-negotiable bottom lines of Chinese foreign policy. When new concepts, ideas and political agendas are introduced in China, there is seldom a shared understanding of how they should be defined; the process of populating the concept with real meaning often takes place incrementally. This, the article argues, is what has happened with the notion of core interests. While there are some agreed bottom lines, what issues deserve to be defined (and thus protected) as core interests remains somewhat blurred and open to question. By using content analysis to study 108 articles by Chinese scholars, this article analyses Chinese academic discourse of China's core interests. The authors' main finding is that 'core interests' is a vague concept in the Chinese discourse, despite its increasing use by the government to legitimize its diplomatic actions and claims. The article argues that this vagueness not only makes it difficult to predict Chinese diplomatic behaviour on key issues, but also allows external observers a rich source of opinions to select from to help support pre-existing views on the nature of China as a global power.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Candice Moore
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The use of the concept of agency in relation to Africa's foreign relations has, up to now, been very limited. This has often related to the actions of individual pivotal states, such as South Africa or Libya. Indeed, there has not yet been an in depth examination of African agency in international relations, making this volume a welcome addition. Admittedly, this is an enormous subject, one that has grown in significance and relevance given the deepened involvement of actors such as China on the continent since the end of the last century. Questions started to be asked about how African states could structure their engagement with an actor so obviously superior in economic and political power. However, this is not the first time that African agency has been addressed, as these questions were previously inspired by the post-colonial experience and the analysis of enduring Great Power involvement in African affairs, during and after the Cold War.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Libya
  • Author: Xiao Fang
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: China and Central Europe have experienced similar transitions over time and have a constructive role to play in the international system, taking on responsibility for development. Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries is conducted via the “16+1” mechanism, the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st century maritime Silk Road, known as the “Belt and Road initiative.” Central European countries are EU member states and emerging economies. They are located at a geographically strategic juncture and form part of the East Asia–Transatlantic value chain. The 16+1 mechanism is helping China and Central European countries establish high level annual meetings and is encouraging the private sector, business, people-to-people exchanges. The Belt and Road initiative is providing new financing facilities, and a dialogue with the European Commission on investment plans is being launched. Studies and working groups are emerging to help set strategies, build mechanisms, allocate resources and implement policies. This article argues that the Chinese approach, i.e. the 16+1 mechanism and Belt and Road initiative, is platforms paving the way for China–Central Europe cooperation.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Central Europe
  • Author: Vilem Semerak
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: The paper provides an overview of stylized facts on current trends in trade between the PRC and the 16 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. The potential effects of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative are discussed as are policy recommendations for the CEE countries. Trade with China is seen as complementary to trade with the core of the EU (and with the mutual trade of the CEE region,) once the international fragmentation of value chains is taken into account. Multilateral and plurilateral (e.g. EU-based) approaches to relations with China are likely to generate fewer risks compared to isolated solutions based on national interest pursued individually by CEE countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Multilateral Relatons
  • Political Geography: China, Eastern Europe, Central Europe
  • Author: Justyna Szczudlik
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: In the last two decades, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have not played an important role in China’s foreign policy and vice-versa. EU membership did not change China–CEE relations remarkably. The situation started to change once the global financial and economic crisis hit. CEE began to notice that China is an economic and political partner to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, despite the crisis, the PRC started to look at CEE as a stable region – especially in economic terms. At the beginning China decided to strengthen bilateral ties with CEE countries. But in mid-2011 Beijing took the first step to launch cooperation with CEE as a region,
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Central Europe
  • Author: Agnes Szunomar
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: China is increasingly perceived in Central and Eastern Europe as a country which could bring economic success to the countries of the region through the development of trade relations and the growing inflow of Chinese investment. Within the region, Hungary is regarded as occupying a prominent position by Chinese people and the government for several reasons. Chinese relations have historically been good: over the past decade Hungarian governments have committed themselves to developing the relationship. This trend was further confirmed after the global economic crisis of 2008, when Hungary started looking for new opportunities in its recovery from recession. The “Eastern opening” policy was initiated after the crisis and partly because of it. Officially, this policy puts more emphasis on further developing Chinese–Hungarian relations than was previously the case, including increasing trade and investment. However, the outcomes of the policy – such as the construction of the Budapest–Belgrade railway line – can be evaluated in different ways.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Central Europe
  • Author: Nadia Helmy
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: In the past three decades, Chinese Iranian and Middle East Studies have become more and more systematic, which is reflected not only in the great volume of publication, but also in the varied research methodologies and the increase in Iranian and Middle East academic journals. The development of Chinese Middle East studies have accelerated in particular after Arab Spring revolutions and the political changes in the Middle East (2000- 2013). Research institutes evolved from state-controlled propaganda offices into multi-dimensional academic and non-academic entities, including universities, research institutes, military institutions, government offices, overseas embassies and mass media. At the same time, publications evolved from providing an introduction and overview of Iran and Middle Eastern states to in-depth studies of Middle East politics and economics in three stages: beginnings (1949- 1978), growth (1979- 1999), and dealing with energy, religion, culture, society and security. The Middle East-related research programs' funding provided by provincial, ministerial and national authorities have increased and the quality of research has greatly improved. And finally, China has established, as well as joined, various academic institutions and NGOs, such as the Chinese Middle East Studies Association (CMESA), the Asian Middle East Studies Association (AMESA) and the Arabic Literature Studies Association (ALSA). However, Chinese Middle East Studies remain underdeveloped, both in comparison with China's American, European, and Japanese studies at home, and with Middle East studies in the West.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Government, Politics, Religion, Culture, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Nasser Saghafi-Ameri, Pirooz Izadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The adoption of the Geneva Accord between Iran and the P5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China plus Germany) to resolve issues related to Iran's nuclear program on November 24, 2013, brought about a series of debates in political circles. In many ways, it could be considered a historic event with international and regional implications and also ushered in a new chapter in Iran-U.S. relations. At the international level, it could have a great impact on the ways in which world affairs are managed. In fact, it was a victory for diplomacy, multilateralism and a thrust towards a multi-polar international system after more than a decade of unilateralism and military interventionist policies with all its catastrophic consequences. At the regional level, by fostering new alignments, it may have a positive impact on current problems; be it elimination of weapons of mass destruction or countering terrorism and extremism that is now expanding beyond the region. The Accord in Geneva also fosters hope for solid and productive relations between Iran and the U.S. after more than three decades of estrangement. Considering that a new geostrategic situation is unfolding in the region, this article tries to answer the questions related to its international and regional implications, as well as its impact on the very delicate issue of Iran-U.S. relations. At the end, some of the major challenges that lay ahead in the implementation of the Accord are examined.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Iran, East Asia, France, Germany