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China's Rise in Historical Perspective by Brantly Womack

China, with its geographical, historical, cultural, and political distance from the West, long has been a black box upon which we readily paste labels—communist, non-Western, developing country—but whose internal logic remains a mystery to us. Arguing that it would be a major step forward in our genuine knowledge of China if we understood its internal dynamic, this innovative book considers China from a historical perspective to chart its current dynamic and future direction.

Renowned historians, economists, and political scientists explore the internal dynamic of China's rise since traditional times through the key themes of China's identity, security, economy, environment, energy, and politics. Each themed section pairs a historian with a social scientist to give an overall view of where China is coming from and where it is heading. One of the PRC's best-known experts on international relations provides a concluding reflection on the political psychology of China's view of itself in the world.

Although a China-centered perspective does not yield clear, absolute truths about China's rise, focusing on change in the PRC from pre-modern times to the present allows us to distinguish between China's own dynamic and its relative change of position vis-à-vis other actors, including ourselves. Written in clear and accessible style, this nuanced book will be essential reading for all readers interested in China past and present and its growing global role.

Contributions by: Lowell Dittmer, Erica S. Downs, Mark Elvin, Joseph W. Esherick, Joseph Fewsmith, Barry Naughton, Dwight H. Perkins, Qin Yaqing, Evelyn S. Rawski, R. Keith Schoppa, Michael D. Swaine, and Brantly Womack.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780742567214
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 07/16/2010
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Brantly Womack is Cumming Memorial Professor of Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia.

Table of Contents

Brantly Womack
Part I: China and the World Order: Dilemmas of Identity
Chapter 1: China and the World: From Tribute to Treaties to Popular Nationalism
Joseph W. Esherick
Chapter 2: On China's Rise
Lowell Dittmer
Part II: Challenges of Strategy and Security
Chapter 3: Chinese Strategy and Security Issues in Historical Perspective
Evelyn S. Rawski
Chapter 4: China's Strategy and Security in the Post–Cold War Era
Michael D. Swaine
Part III: China's Economic Trajectory
Chapter 5: China's Prereform Economy in World Perspective
Dwight H. Perkins
Chapter 6: The Dynamics of China's Reform-Era Economy
Barry Naughton
Part IV: China's Ecological and Resource Interaction
Chapter 7: The Environmental Impasse in Late Imperial China
Mark Elvin
Chapter 8: China's Energy Rise
Erica S. Downs
Part V: Political Creativity and Political Development
Chapter 9: The Political Creativity of Late Imperial China
R. Keith Schoppa
Chapter 10: Political Creativity and Political Reform in China?
Joseph Fewsmith
Part VI: Concluding Reflections
Chapter 11: Struggle for Identity: A Political Psychology of China's Rise
Qin Yaqing

What People are Saying About This

Joseph W. Prueher

China and the United States are bound to have issues and confrontation. We will also have synergies, collaboration, and cooperation. In China’s Rise, Brantly Womack has compiled the most useful set of perspectives in the last decade on how to think about China. The contributors to this book are not only among the best observers and analysts of China’s actions but also some of the best writers in the field. They have given us a guide to understanding that is not only immensely interesting to a broad group of readers trying to understand modern China but also eminently useful to those who deal in the U.S.-China relationship in any serious way.

Robert A. Kapp

Stimulating and elegant. This unique book purposefully blends insightful historical analyses and strong present-day commentaries, placing core elements of the phenomenon of contemporary China into very meaningful contexts. This welcome and long-overdue approach will assist a broad readership that seeks to understand both where China has been and where it is going.

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