Middle Power Hybridisation and China

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter explores how middle power hybridisation theory may be utilised to
direct the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) relations with its neighbouring
middle powers and how these middle powers may best take advantage of China
as a great power to achieve their own goals. The chapter’s focus is thus guided by
China’s concept of neighbourhood diplomacy. China’s relations with the US are
also considered within this context. Cooperation between the two great powers
is found to be necessary to restrict the self-motivated capacity of middle powers to disrupt their relationship. The opaque governance structures of the PRC,
the predominantly atheoretical nature of indigenous Chinese international relations scholarship and a subsequent dominance of the Communist Party of China
(CPC) as the source of great power statecraft are identified as critical components
to be accounted for in middle power statecraft. The practical question that this
chapter asks is: does the behavioural policy prescription to seek multilateral solutions, embrace compromise in international disputes and be a good international
citizen constitute a satisfactory foreign policy strategy for middle powers when
dealing with the PRC? This chapter finds that other policy options should also be
considered and developed through hybridisation theory, and it explains why the
behavioural prescription will be demoted due to structural power changes in the
global political economy (GPE) (Strange, 1994, p. 25).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Middle Powers in the Asia Century
Subtitle of host publicationNew theories, new cases
EditorsTanguy Struye de Swielande, Dorothee Vandamme, David Walton, Thomas Wilkins
Place of PublicationMilton
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780429873850
ISBN (Print)9781138614871
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameIR Theory and Practice in Asia


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