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Knowledge, Desire And Power In Global Politics

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Knowledge, Desire And Power In Global Politics

Western Representations of China’s Rise

Chengxin Pan

Chengxin Pan, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Deakin University, Australia

2012 264 pp Hardback 978 1 84542 915 7
May 2015 Paperback 978 1 78536 087 9
ebook isbn 978 1 78254 424 1

Hardback £67.00 on-line price £60.30

Paperback c£25.00 on-line price c£20.00


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‘Pan has produced a book which not only challenges some basic assumptions about the nature of China’s “rise”, but more importantly forces us to rethink the very basic starting points of how we know what we know about China.’
– Shaun Breslin, University of Warwick, UK


Further information

How is the rise of China perceived in the West? Why is it often labelled as ‘threat’ and/or ‘opportunity’? What are the implications of these China imageries for global politics?

Taking up these important questions, this groundbreaking book argues that the dominant Western perceptions of China’s rise tell us less about China and more about Western self-imagination and its desire for certainty. Chengxin Pan expertly illustrates how this desire, masked as China ‘knowledge’, is bound up with the political economy of fears and fantasies, thereby both informing and complicating foreign policy practice in Sino-Western relations. Insofar as this vital relationship is shaped not only by China’s rise, but also by the way we conceptualise its rise, this book makes a compelling case for critical reflection on China watching.

Knowledge, Desire and Power in Global Politics is the first systematic and deconstructive analysis of contemporary Western representation of China’s rise. Setting itself apart from the mainstream empiricist literature, its critical interpretative approach and unconventional and innovative perspective will not only strongly appeal to academics, students and the broader reading public, but also likely spark debate in the field of Chinese international relations.

Full table of contents

Contents: Preface 1. Introduction: Knowledge, Desire and Power in Western Representations of China’s Rise 2. Threat and Opportunity: A Bifocal Lens 3. Of Fears and Fantasies: Neocolonial Desire in Western Self/Other Imagination 4. The ‘China Threat’ and the Political Economy of Fear 5. The ‘China Threat’: A Self-fulfilling Prophecy 6. The ‘China Opportunity’: False Promises (and Premises) 7. The International Politics of Disillusionment 8. China Watching: Towards Reflection and Dialogue Bibliography Index

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