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 and Global Regimes1

China and Global Regimes1

China and Global Regimes
Andrew J. Nathan


The dramatic increase in Chinese economic, military, and soft power since the 1990s has generated rising concern that Beijing seeks to overturn the liberal international order. This order, created under American dominance after World War II and sustained until now by American power, consists of a set of norms and institutions (or ‘regimes') that are open to all states, which promote free trade and other ‘open’ economic interactions, and which establish rule-bound procedures for settling interstate disputes peacefully.2 The liberal international order includes regimes governing trade, finance, arms control and disarmament, human rights, and many other domains.

The scope and complexity of these regimes – and more controversially, but supported ...

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