Understanding Chinese identity in international relations : a critique of Western approaches.

Pan, Chengxin 1999, Understanding Chinese identity in international relations : a critique of Western approaches., Political science, vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 135-148.

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Title Understanding Chinese identity in international relations : a critique of Western approaches.
Author(s) Pan, Chengxin
Journal name Political science
Volume number 51
Issue number 2
Start page 135
End page 148
Total pages 14
Publisher Sage Publications
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 1999-12
ISSN 0032-3187
2041-0611
Keyword(s) China
the West
identity
international relations
representation
theory as practice
Summary In international relations in the West, two main approaches to Chinese identity have emerged: the capability and the culture approaches. Though each takes a different view of China, they share common epistemological ground. positivism. This paper provides an overview of these two influential schools of thought and attempts to challenge their positivistic and ethnocentric assumptions about the identities of both China and the West. While they endeavour to make sense of China, particularly in the post-Cold War era, they fail to understand identity as a form of representation. From a critical perspective, both ’China’ and the ‘West’ are social constructs: each in part constitutes the other. The relationship between them is always relational and fluid. Posing Chinese identity in positivist terms is not only misleading analytically, but potentially dangerous in practice. It is important, therefore, that alternative critical approaches to the complexities of Chinese identity be further explored.
Language eng
Field of Research 160607 International Relations
Socio Economic Objective 940399 International Relations not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©1999, Sage Publications
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30034430

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of International and Political Studies
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