InHouse&Guests Workshop

Strategic Power without Normative Intentions: A New Paradigm in International Relations? The Case of China

14–15 December 2017

Foreign policy as conceived and shaped by Chinese actors is a challenge, for conventional epistemological tools frustrate our attempts to formulate hypotheses on China’s modus operandi in the international arena. Henry Kissinger, a staunch Realist, in his 2011 book 'On China', focused his work on the concept of 'perception' by assuming that it is important to understand, above all, that the Chinese see the world differently from us, mentioning the idea of a Chinese World Order. Fresh social science perspectives on Chinese society and politics may be key to find an adequate understanding.

Although many observers assume that China cannot be considered a game changer in the international society, its conduct in foreign policy introduces new elements, practices and understandings to the range of actions countries can adopt to interact in the international arena. While these new registers may not represent a turning point in contemporary history, they add significantly to the framework of international cooperation and contribute to the emergence of new narratives running counter to the liberal ones promoted by Western democracies.

The workshop should serve as a platform for scholars and operators to reflect upon the role of China in the international arena and on the possible variations to what we know as foreign policy practices China's new modus operandi can trigger and promote. The main issues that have been delved into are: Considering the Chinese modus operandi, is diversity in international practices and identities better protected? Are investments really based on a win-win principle? What does all this mean for world policy and the international society?

The event was organized jointly with the Institute of East Asian Studies (IN-EAST).

Venue: University of Duisburg-Essen, Geibelstr. 41, Room SG 183, Duisburg