Harmony and War: Confucian Culture and Chinese Power Politics [NOOK Book]

Overview


Confucianism has shaped a certain perception of Chinese security strategy, symbolized by the defensive, nonaggressive Great Wall. Many believe China is antimilitary and reluctant to use force against its enemies. Instead, the country practices pacifism and refrains from expanding its boundaries, even when nationally strong.

In a path-breaking study that travels seven hundred years of Chinese history, Yuan-kang Wang resoundingly discredits this notion, recasting China as a ...

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Harmony and War: Confucian Culture and Chinese Power Politics

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Overview


Confucianism has shaped a certain perception of Chinese security strategy, symbolized by the defensive, nonaggressive Great Wall. Many believe China is antimilitary and reluctant to use force against its enemies. Instead, the country practices pacifism and refrains from expanding its boundaries, even when nationally strong.

In a path-breaking study that travels seven hundred years of Chinese history, Yuan-kang Wang resoundingly discredits this notion, recasting China as a practitioner of realpolitik and a ruthless purveyor of expansive grand strategies. Leaders of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) prized military force and shrewdly assessed the strength of China's adversaries. They adopted defensive strategies only when their country was weak and pursued expansive goals, such as territorial acquisition, enemy destruction, and total military victory, when their country was strong. Despite the dominance of an antimilitarist Confucian culture, warfare was not uncommon in the bulk of Chinese history. Grounding his research in primary Chinese sources, Wang outlines a politics of power that are crucial to understanding China's strategies today, especially its policy of "peaceful development," which it has adopted only because of military, economic, and technological weakness in relation to the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

China Quarterly - Aleksandra Kubat

Wang's book provides an accessible, historically well-informed and methodologicallywell-constructed account of an important phenomenon of Chinese history.

Asian Politics and Policy - Julia Dinh T.H.L.

...a must-read for those who are interested in Chinese power politics and strategic culture.

Journal of Chinese Political Science - Gregory J. Moore

Yuan-kang Wang's Harmony and War is the most important and well-conceived application of structural realist theory to Chinese foreign policy (past and present) to date.

Choice

a necessary read for those concerned with the issue of cultural versus strategic realism and Chinese strategic culture....highly recommended.

China Quarterly
Wang's book provides an accessible, historically well-informed and methodologicallywell-constructed account of an important phenomenon of Chinese history.

— Aleksandra Kubat

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231522403
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 12/6/2010
  • Series: Contemporary Asia in the World
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


Yuan-kang Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University. He had held positions as an international security fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies.

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsList of TablesPreface1. Confucian Strategic Culture and the Puzzle2. Culture and Strategic Choice3. The Northern Song Dynasty (960--1127)4. The Southern Song Dynasty (1127--1279)5. The Ming Dynasty (1368--1644)6. The Ming Tribute System7. Chinese Power Politics in the Age of U.S. UnipolarityNotesGlossary: Chinese TermsBibliographyIndex

Columbia University Press

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