Publication of the week: Professor David Armstrong10 November 2015
Armstrong, D., “Rising Powers and International Society: Lessons from the Past and the Case of China” in Jamie Gaskarth (ed.), China, India and the Future of International Society (London: Rowman and Littlefield International, 2015), ch.4. ISBN: 978-1-78348-260-3.
This book considers many aspects of the rise of China and India with a view to analysing how they will impact on international society as a whole. Professor Armstrong’s chapter takes him back to certain themes he examined in two acclaimed earlier books, one in the 1970s on China’s foreign policy, one in the 1990s on the interaction between revolutionary states and international society. In this chapter he evaluates various possible scenarios, ranging from what some see as the inevitability of conflict between China and other major powers, especially Japan and the United States, through the possibility of the world dividing into several distinct regional orders to the prospects for the forces of globalisation producing a more interdependent world. While he cautiously dismisses the more alarmist predictions, he outlines various ways in which China, with its version of ‘state capitalism’, its huge foreign reserves, its one-party government and its very different culture might pose a multifaceted challenge to the West. However, on balance, he sees the forces of increasing global interdependence leading China towards a (mostly) peaceable interaction with the West.
David Armstrong is Professor of Global Politics at Buckingham and author or editor of books on Chinese foreign policy, revolutionary states in world politics, international organisations, the end of the Cold War and international law and international relations, as well as over 150 articles, book chapters and papers for the BBC World Service.