The Chinese Contribution to Theorizing International Relations

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The Chinese contribution to theorizing international relations goes back to classical statecraft. The competition for power under a weakening ancient dynasty led to the Warring States Period (475–221 BCE), its resolution through the triumph of the state of Qin, which unified China in 221 BCE, and its demise shortly after when the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE) followed. During ancient China’s time of upheaval, the quest for winning strategies – which would ultimately require the strategy for peace – called forth itinerant philosophers and what became known as the ‘Hundred Schools of Thought’. Out of these, several remained influential throughout the history of Chinese political thought. With them came a set of inter-related concepts informing strategic and diplomatic practice. The common thread in all is that they are process-based. This remains relevant for future developments in a Chinese-influenced international relations system and its theoretical frameworks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of International Political Theory
EditorsHoward Williams, David Boucher, Peter Sutch, David Reidy, Alexandros Koutsoukis
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783031361111
ISBN (Print)9783031361104
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2023


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