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    • December 2010
    • 9780231151405
  • 328 Pages
  • 6 maps, 4 line drawings, 14 tables

  • Hardcover
  • $60.00
  • / £41.50

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    • December 2010
    • 9780231522403
  • 328 Pages
  • 6 maps, 4 line drawings, 14 tables

  • E-book
  • $59.99
  • / £41.50

Harmony and War

Confucian Culture and Chinese Power Politics

Yuan-kang Wang

Confucianism has shaped a certain perception of Chinese security strategy, symbolized by the defensive, nonaggressive Great Wall. Many believe China is antimilitary and reluctant to use force against its enemies. It practices pacifism and refrains from expanding its boundaries, even when nationally strong.

In a path-breaking study traversing six centuries of Chinese history, Yuan-kang Wang resoundingly discredits this notion, recasting China as a practitioner of realpolitik and a ruthless purveyor of expansive grand strategies. Leaders of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) prized military force and shrewdly assessed the capabilities of China's adversaries. They adopted defensive strategies when their country was weak and pursued expansive goals, such as territorial acquisition, enemy destruction, and total military victory, when their country was strong. Despite the dominance of an antimilitarist Confucian culture, warfare was not uncommon in the bulk of Chinese history. Grounding his research in primary Chinese sources, Wang outlines a politics of power that are crucial to understanding China's strategies today, especially its policy of "peaceful development," which, he argues, the nation has adopted mainly because of its military, economic, and technological weakness in relation to the United States.

About the Author

Yuan-kang Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago and has received fellowships from Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Brookings Institution's Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies.

"a necessary read for those concerned with the issue of cultural versus strategic realism and Chinese strategic culture....highly recommended." — Choice

"Wang's book provides an accessible, historically well-informed and methodologically
well-constructed account of an important phenomenon of Chinese history." — Aleksandra Kubat, China Quarterly

"...a must-read for those who are interested in Chinese power politics and strategic culture." — Julia Dinh T.H.L., Asian Politics and Policy

"Yuan-kang Wang's Harmony and War is the most important and well-conceived application of structural realist theory to Chinese foreign policy (past and present) to date." — Gregory J. Moore, Journal of Chinese Political Science

"Yuan-kang Wang offers a powerful test of strategic culture versus structural realism in the contexts of Song and Ming China, meticulously weaving together international relations theories and Chinese history. The result is a must read for any student of international relations and Chinese foreign policy." — Victoria Tin-bor Hui, University of Notre Dame

"Harmony and War does an excellent job of using Chinese history, especially Song and Ming Dynasty documents, to measure the affect of structural realism on Chinese foreign policy. An important book& mdash;along the lines of Iain Johnston's Cultural Realism." — Warren I. Cohen, University of Maryland

"Yuan-kang Wang's theoretically informed and historically rich study of Chinese strategic behavior is a major contribution to answering one of the central questions of the twenty-first century: How might China's growing strength shape its role on the world stage? Wang boldly challenges explanations that emphasize the distinctiveness of China's traditional culture as the source of its international behavior. His book is sure to encourage important and necessary debates about the adequacy of our beliefs about China as a great power, both during its Imperial past and its current renaissance." — Avery Goldstein, University of Pennsylvania

"China assures its neighbors that its rise will be peaceful, in part because Chinese have a cultural allergy to aggression. Those who would like to take such promises seriously should read Harmony and War, Yuan-kang Wang's outstanding account of Chinese national security strategy in the Song and Ming dynasties. He finds that it was the degree of external danger and not Confucian culture that motivated Imperial leaders, and that they pursued harmony when China was relatively weak but engaged in war when it was stronger. There may be a contemporary lesson lurking in there." — Richard C. Bush, director, Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, The Brookings Institution

About the Author

Yuan-kang Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago and has received fellowships from Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Brookings Institution's Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies.

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Preface
1. Confucian Strategic Culture and the Puzzle
2. Culture and Strategic Choice
3. The Northern Song Dynasty (960--1127)
4. The Southern Song Dynasty (1127--1279)
5. The Ming Dynasty (1368--1644)
6. The Ming Tribute System
7. Chinese Power Politics in the Age of U.S. Unipolarity
Notes
Glossary: Chinese Terms
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Yuan-kang Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago and has received fellowships from Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Brookings Institution's Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies.

About the Author

Yuan-kang Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago and has received fellowships from Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Brookings Institution's Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies.

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About the Author

Yuan-kang Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago and has received fellowships from Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Brookings Institution's Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies.

About the Author

Yuan-kang Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago and has received fellowships from Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Brookings Institution's Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies.