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A Relational Theory of World Politics

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  • Author: Yaqing Qin, Foreign Affairs University, Beijing
  • Date Published: April 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107183148
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About the Authors
  • Drawing on Chinese cultural and philosophical traditions, this book offers a ground breaking reinterpretation of world politics from Yaqing Qin, one of China's leading scholars of international relations. Qin has pioneered the study of constructivism in China and developed a variant of this approach, arguing that culture defined in terms of background knowledge nurtures social theory and enables theoretical innovation. Building upon this argument, this book presents the concept of 'relationality', shifting the focus from individual actors to the relations amongst actors. This ontology of relations examines the unfolding processes whereby relations create the identities of actors and provide motivations for their actions. Appealing to scholars of international relations theory, social theory and Chinese political thought, this exciting new concept will be of particular interest to those who are seeking to bridge Eastern and Western approaches for a truly global international relations project.

    • Explores Chinese cultural and philosophical traditions in order to reconstruct key international relations concepts
    • Presents the ground breaking concept and practice of 'relationality' to a global audience for the first time
    • Will be of particular interest to those who are seeking to bridge Eastern and Western approaches for a truly global international relations project
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘With this path-breaking book Yaqing Qin's stature as China's leading scholar of international relations has shifted to a position of global intellectual leadership. Embodying the deep background knowledge of Sinic civilization, relationality is the book's core construct. Scholars who think that rationality rules the world, take note: this book signals the arrival of a truly global discipline of international relations.' Peter J. Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr, Professor of International Studies, Cornell University

    ‘Qin's work is a landmark in the creation of a truly global discipline of IR. He makes the case that culture necessarily shapes social theory, and backs this up with explanations of ‘the Chinese way of thinking' about social order. He assesses mainstream Western IR theory with a knowledgeable and penetrating outsider's eye, and sets out his own contrasting and complementary relational theory based on Confucian norms and practices. This book will change the way you think about IR theory and its potential development.' Barry Buzan, London School of Economics and Political Science

    ‘A Relational Theory of World Politics masterfully blends contemporary IR theory with Chinese history and ideas. It is an original and path-breaking catalyst for moving the field of IR beyond its traditional Western centric concepts and theories towards a Global IR.' Amitav Acharya, American University, Washington DC

    'Finally we have a full-length English language book outlining the theorisation of world politics by one of China’s most influential and interesting scholars! A must read for anyone interested in global international relations theorising, Chinese traditions of thought, or Chinese foreign relations.' Astrid Nordin, Lancaster University

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    Customer reviews

    11th Apr 2019 by Lilian8006

    A pioneering original book of the best Chinese scholar's perspective on world politics.

    Review was not posted due to profanity

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107183148
    • length: 412 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.69kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Culture and Social Theory:
    1. Social theory and the multicultural world
    2. Theoretical hard core
    3. Culture and theoretical innovation
    4. Individualistic rationality and mainstream IR theory
    Part II. Relation and Relationality:
    5. A world of relations
    6. Meta-relationship and the zhongyong dialectics
    7. The logic of relationality
    Part III. Power, Cooperation, and Governance:
    8. Power and relation
    9. Cooperation in a relational world
    10. Governance: rule, rules, and relations.

  • Author

    Yaqing Qin, Foreign Affairs University, Beijing
    Yaqing Qin is Professor of International Studies at China Foreign Affairs University and Executive Vice-President of the China National Association for International Studies. Previously, Qin was on the Resource Group for the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, organized by the then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He has served on numerous national and international editorial boards, including Global Governance, East-West Center Policy Studies series and the Chinese Journal of International Politics. His academic interests include international relations theory and global governance, and he has written for numerous journals, including International Studies Review, Chinese Journal of International Politics, and International Relations of the Asia-Pacific.

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