Introduction Taking Cultural Studies Seriously

  • Chih-yu Shih
Part of the Comparative Perspectives on Modern Asia book series (CPMA)


China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) seems to have created uncertainties in its identities. The literature on China’s role in world politics typically falls into two categories—those who see China as a potential threat in formation and those who anticipate China becoming a “normal” state, one that would observe international norms and behave in accordance with the West’s expectations. The question of what China represents is a major subject of debate among Chinese intellectuals, domestic as well as overseas. These discussions echo the familiar disagreement between neorealism and neoliberalism in international relations to the extent that an ontologically unproblematized Chinese state is believed to be torn between political power and economic welfare. In fact, globalization does not change the image of China as being primarily an outsider sitting behind its closed sovereign borders still capable of keeping out waves of globalization. To understand how Chinese authorities have responded to world politics is therefore critical for anyone interested in furthering their understanding of Chinese identities as well as the future of globalization.


World Trade Organization Rational Choice World Politics Chinese Leader Chinese State 
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© Chih-yu Shih 2003

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  • Chih-yu Shih

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