POWER AND INFLUENCE: IDEATIONAL AND MATERIAL FACTORS IN THE INTERNATIONAL POSTURE OF CHINA RISING AS A GREAT POWER
Ambrosio, Francis J
POWER AND INFLUENCE: IDEATIONAL AND MATERIAL FACTORS IN THE INTERNATIONAL POSTURE OF CHINA RISING AS A GREAT POWERMassimo Ambrosetti LLMDLS Co-Chairs: Francis J. Ambrosio, Ph.D; Michael C. Wall, Ph.D.ABSTRACTThe thesis tries to assess the possible "transformative impact" of the rise of China on the international system by analyzing the material and ideational elements which shape this process and which are reflected in the revisionist and status quo components of the PRC's international behavior. On the basis of a post-positivist epistemological approach which underscores the necessity of connecting theory to its practical implications - in a logic of hermeneutical rediscovery of the dimension of "phronesis" - the thesis deconstructs neo-realist and neo-liberal paradigms which have examined the rise of China through analytical approaches mainly centered on hegemonic transition and interdependence theories. By arguing that the rise of China is a multifaceted process influenced by domestic and international factors, the thesis analyzes the possible structural transformation of the international system linked to the relative but significant shift of hard and soft power driven not only by the ascendancy of China on the world's scene but also by other emerging powers. In this perspective the thesis' conclusive argument is that, by itself, China's capacity to reshape the international system is limited but it could be magnified if Chinese international behavior and objectives are leveraged with the rise of other emerging powers.In this perspective, the rise of new global actors on the world's stage may prove to be a challenge to a structure of the international system still shaped by Western values, rules and practices, even though a consensus on a "common revisionist agenda" has still to emerge among these rising powers.The "rise of China and of the rest" seems therefore to confirm that we have entered a period of transition of the international system which not only entails a complex process of redistribution of power and influence among its main actors but which could also lead to the emergence of a more heterogeneous and multi-polar concert of nations as the new gravitational centre of 21st century international relations.
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