Yaqing Qin, A Relational Theory of World Politics
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Against the backdrop of the growing body of literature on the relational turn in social sciences, Yaqing Qin’s nuanced version of A Relational Theory of World Politics is a more comprehensive contribution to theoretical innovation in the discipline of International Relations (IR) by referring to Chinese ideas. Theoretical innovation in social sciences, as a major starting-point of Qin’s argumentative logic in this book, is demonstrably tied up with culture, which he defines as “the shared background knowledge of a community practice” (ix). To this end, the first three chapters of this book elaborate the very idea that the process of theory construction and knowledge production in social sciences is decisively contingent upon, and can fundamentally benefit from, the fruitful cultural resources embedded in our world.
The metaphysical component of the theoretical hard core plays an overarching conceptual role in Qin’s elaboration, radically determining the “life and identity” (49) of...