IRGS Seminar: The Specter of Sinocentrism and the Hope for "Chinese IR" | Shiv Nadar University
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IRGS Seminar: The Specter of Sinocentrism and the Hope for "Chinese IR"

Event Date: 
Thursday, April 8, 2021 -

The Department of International Relations and Governance Studies invites you to a virtual seminar on 'The Specter of Sinocentrism and the Hope for “Chinese IR”' by Dr. Sinan Chu, Research Fellow, German Institute for Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, Germany, on April 8, 2021 at 12:00 PM.

Abstract of the Talk
In this talk, I critically engage Tianxia Theories/Tianxia-ism, a prominent school of thought on international relations (IR) in contemporary People’s Republic of China. Organized around the traditional Chinese concept of tianxia (“all-under-heaven”), Tianxia-ism has been widely criticized for its embedded nationalism, ethnocentrism, and authoritarianism. Despite this negative reception, it remains popular among mainland Chinese intellectuals. How do we explain the resilience of Tianxia-ism? Existing studies on Chinese IR discourse tend to approach this question from either a sociological or a cultural perspective. In contrast, I seek to understand its resilience as an intellectual phenomenon. Specifically, I focus on how a particular subject position - “Sinocentric Subject” - helps to enable contemporary Chinese intellectuals to reason along the faulted logics of Tianxia-ism. This ultimately undermines their efforts to rectify ethnocentrism in knowledge production on world politics. The failure of Tianxia-ism as an intellectual project is symptomatic of general problems with non-Western IR. However, critical commentaries by mainland scholars show the ability of the intellectual community in today's China to practice self-critique and reexamine knowledge constitutive to the Chinese nationalist narrative, as well as the space for such an exercise.

About the Speaker
Sinan Chu is a research fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies, Germany. He obtained his Ph.D. in Political Science from Syracuse University in 2019. His research interests include China’s ethnic policy, contemporary Chinese intellectual discourse, authoritarian politics, global international relations (IR), and legitimacy in global governance.

Thursday 08, Apr 2021
12:00 PM - 02:00 PM