Revisiting the Chinese World Order: Soft Power or the Imperialism of Nation-states
There are unexpected convergences between the imperial Chinese order and the emergent global order. The historical evolution of forms of global domination since the end of the 19th century saw modern imperialism succeeded by what I have called ‘the imperialism of nation-states’ which represented the principal form of domination among states during much of the 20th century and in some form also through the Cold War. Despite continued warfare conducted by the US and others, post-Cold War geopolitical dominance is said to be shaped by the pull of ‘soft power.’ While soft power is an inadequate concept, it suggests a new balance between expressions of violent power and other modes of domination. I will examine the extent to which this notion—which is popular in the Chinese media-- has any purchase in understanding the rise of China.
Prasenjit Duara is the Oscar Tang Chair of East Asian Studies at Duke University. Born and educated in India, he received his PhD in Chinese history from Harvard University. He was Professor of History and East Asian Studies at University of Chicago (1991-2008) and Raffles Professor and Director of Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore (2008-2015). His latest book is The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future (Cambridge 2014). He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Oslo in Sep 2017. He is Vice President, Association for Asian Studies, 2019-2020.
Light refreshments will be served.