China: The Pessoptimist Nation [NOOK Book]


The rise of China presents a long-term challenge to the world not only
economically, but politically and culturally. Callahan meets this challenge in
China: The Pessoptimist Nation by using new Chinese sources and innovative analysis
to see how Chinese people understand their new place in the world.To ...
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China: The Pessoptimist Nation

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The rise of China presents a long-term challenge to the world not only
economically, but politically and culturally. Callahan meets this challenge in
China: The Pessoptimist Nation by using new Chinese sources and innovative analysis
to see how Chinese people understand their new place in the world.To chart the
trajectory of its rise, the book shifts from examining China's national interests to
exploring its national aesthetic. Rather than answering the standard social science
question "what is China?" with statistics of economic and military power, this book
asks "when, where, and who is China?" to explore the soft power dynamics of China's
identity politics.China: The Pessoptimist Nation shows how the heart of Chinese
foreign policy is not a security dilemma, but an identity dilemma. Through careful
analysis, Callahan charts how Chinese identity emerges through the interplay of
positive and negative feelings in a dynamic that intertwines China's domestic and
international politics. China thus is the pessoptimist nation where national
security is closely linked to nationalist insecurities.Callahan concludes that this
interactive view of China's pessoptimist identity means that we need to rethink the
role of the state and public opinion in Beijing's foreign policy-making.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This provocative books uses not only a new analytical framework for studying Chinese political culture...As a significant contribution to the understanding of political culture and how it is related to contemporary international relatiions, this book will surely generate more discussion on the subject matter."—Journal of Asian Studies

"A courageous book...both timely and likely to stand the test of time."—China Quarterly

"An in-depth analysis of how perceptions and narratives of Chinese identity have shaped intellectual and popular discourses on China's security and insecurity...this study makes a significant contribution to the literature focusing on the ideational and societal dimensions of Chinese foreign policy."—Times Higher Education Supplement

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780191609503
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • Publication date: 11/19/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

William A. Callahan is Professor of International Politics and China Studies at the University of Manchester, and Co-Director of the British Inter-University China Center at Oxford University. His recent publications include Cultural Governance and Resistance in Pacific Asia (2006) and Contingent States: Greater China and Transnational Relations (2004).

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

List of Figures xiii

1 Introduction: Soft Power, Pessoptimism, and the Rise of China 1

2 When Is China? (1): Patriotic Education and the Century of National Humiliation 31

3 When Is China? (2): Producing and Consuming National Humiliation Days 61

4 Where Is China?: The Cartography of National Humiliation 91

5 Who Is China? (1): Foreign Brothers and Domestic Strangers 127

6 Who Is China? (2): Trauma, Community, and Gender in Sino-Japanese Relations 161

7 Conclusion: How to Be Chinese in the Twenty-First Century 191

Notes 219

Character List 259

Index 261

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