The study of contemporary China constitutes a fascinating yet challenging area of scholarly inquiry. Recent decades have brought dramatic changes to China's economy, society and governance. Analyzing such changes in the context of multiple disciplinary perspectives offers opportunites as well as challenges for scholars in the field known as contemporary China Studies. The SAGE Handbook of Contemporary China is a two-volume exploration of the transformations of contemporary China, firmly grounded in the both disciplinary and China-specific contexts. Drawing on a range of scholarly approaches found in the social sciences and history, an international team of contributors engage with the question of what a rapidly changing China means for the broader field of contemporary China studies, and identify areas of promising future research. Part 1: Context: History, Economy, and the Environment Part 2: Economic Transformations Part 3: Politics and Government Part 4: China on the Global Stage Part 5: China's Foreign Policy Part 6: National and Nested Identities Part 7: Urbanization and Spatial Development Part 8: Poverty and Inequality Part 9: Social Change Part 10: Future Directions for Contemporary China Studies

China on the Global Stage: Introduction

China on the Global Stage: Introduction
China on the Global Stage: Introduction

During China's nearly four decades of reform and opening, a central question in international affairs has been the extent to which the Chinese government would be influenced by its expanding participation in the international system (or international society as some prefer). Could China be ‘socialized,’ as some termed it, into the existing, largely American-led arrangement of international institutions? Or would China, as some concluded based on past experiences with rising global powers, and on China's own actions in global politics, seek to transform or even to overturn these international institutions, possibly developing an alternative set of institutions to rival those of the West?

The framing of this question, and the way most scholars addressed ...

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