Research Project at the Centre
Hung-Jen Wang’s first research project at the Centre - "China’s Rising Power and Global Governance" -analysed China’s rising role in world politics in two aspects: (1) Chinese perspectives on global governance concepts; and (2) Chinese legitimacy strategies in justifying their rule of order.
From October 2013 Hung-Jen Wang will work on a second project, entitled "Understanding Global Governance and Cooperation: A Comparative Study of the European Union, Great Britain, China, Japan and the United States".
Research on global issues has been long beset by an important problem, that is, it is inherently Western or American-centric. This may be something of an exaggeration. Other intellectual/diplomatic traditions, most notably those coming from the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, have also influenced the evolution of international studies and real global politics, not to mention China’s recent ascendancy and its potential impact on the contemporary world.
It is still the case, though, that the field of global governance has remained a profoundly Western affair. It is American and European authors that have given it its basic vocabulary: the understandings of the state, the market, governance, democracy and similar concepts, which have framed the central claims and debates in the field of global issues.
The aim of the proposed research project is thus trying to place the entire discipline as well as the researchers within it with unavoidable and crucially important questions: What exactly does it mean to say that global studies are Western-centric? What has been overlooked or misunderstood, when it comes to the global politics of the non-Western world? Moreover, what would a discipline which is no longer Western-centric actually look like? Finally, but not the least important, why and how can different cultural/national/historical cases support different (or even similar) approaches to global issues? These are vexing questions for all who work in global studies, not least because the field is yet appear to have the intellectual tools and insights that would allow to answer them in full.