Mainstream IR Theoretical Perspectives and Rising China Vis-À-Vis the West: The Logic of Conquest, Conversion and Socialisation

  • Young Chul ChoEmail author
  • Yih-Jye Hwang
Research Article


The aim of this article is to critically examine how the mainstream International Relations (IR) theoretical perspectives — realist, liberalist, and constructivist — make sense of the relationships between Self and Others in explaining the rise of China in IR. Our argument is two-fold. First, although mainstream IR perspectives are believed to produce objective, neutral, scientific, and universal knowledge about reality and how the world works, they are not value-free explanations but normative approaches that serve the US/West hegemony, and Orientalism appears to constitute the hidden normative underpinning of those perspectives. Second, considering mainstream IR perspectives as problem-solving approaches for the hegemonic US/West reveals that the hegemonic Self uses the logic of conquest, conversion, and socialisation to deal with the Other, rising China.


IR theoretical perspectives Rising China Self/Other East Asia International relations 


Funding information

This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2016S1A3A2923970).


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© Journal of Chinese Political Science/Association of Chinese Political Studies 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The School of International StudiesChonbuk National UniversityJeonjuSouth Korea
  2. 2.Leiden University CollegeLeiden UniversityThe HagueThe Netherlands

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