Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review: China’s Foreign Policy by Stuart Harris

Book Review: China’s Foreign Policy by Stuart Harris | LSE Review of Books

In the preface, Harris applauds and adopts a call by eminent British historian Michael Howard to make empathy the basis of international relations analysis. Rather than a form of realpolitik, Beijing, Harris claims, approaches the world through the cultural lens of Confucianism and maintains an inchoate foreign policy. Harris declares that “In China, as elsewhere…foreign policy is contingent, often simply responsive to events and based on incomplete information” (p. 3). Yet, casting China’s international engagement as ad hoc and reflexive belies both its historical record and current mode of behaviour.

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