China: The Pessoptimist Nation

Paperback | March 16, 2012

byWilliam A. Callahan

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The rise of China presents a long-term challenge to the world not only economically, but politically and culturally. Callahan meets this challenge in China: The Pessoptimist Nation by using new Chinese sources and innovative analysis to see how Chinese people understand their new place in theworld.To chart the trajectory of its rise, the book shifts from examining China's national interests to exploring its national aesthetic. Rather than answering the standard social science question "what is China?" with statistics of economic and military power, this book asks "when, where, and who isChina?" to explore the soft power dynamics of China's identity politics.China: The Pessoptimist Nation shows how the heart of Chinese foreign policy is not a security dilemma, but an identity dilemma. Through careful analysis, Callahan charts how Chinese identity emerges through the interplay of positive and negative feelings in a dynamic that intertwines China'sdomestic and international politics. China thus is the pessoptimist nation where national security is closely linked to nationalist insecurities.Callahan concludes that this interactive view of China's pessoptimist identity means that we need to rethink the role of the state and public opinion in Beijing's foreign policy-making.

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The rise of China presents a long-term challenge to the world not only economically, but politically and culturally. Callahan meets this challenge in China: The Pessoptimist Nation by using new Chinese sources and innovative analysis to see how Chinese people understand their new place in theworld.To chart the trajectory of its rise, t...

William A. Callahan's recent publications include Cultural Governance and Resistance in Pacific Asia (2006) and Contingent States: Greater China and Transnational Relations (2004). He is Professor of International Politics and China Studies at the University of Manchester, and Co-Director of the British Inter-university China Center, ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:March 16, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199604398

ISBN - 13:9780199604395

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Table of Contents

Figure ListPrefaceAcknowledgments1. Introduction: Soft Power, Pessoptimism and the Rise of China2. When is China? (I): Patriotic Education and the Century of National Humiliation3. When is China? (2): Producing and Consuming National Humiliation Days4. Where is China? The Cartography of National Humiliation5. Who is China? (1): Foreign Brothers and Domestic Strangers6. Who is China? (2): Trauma, Community and Gender in Sino-Japanese Relations7. Conclusion: How To Be Chinese in the Twenty-First CenturyCharacter listIndex

Editorial Reviews

"an in-depth analysis of how perceptions and narratives of Chinese identity have shaped intellectual and popular discourses on China's security and insecurity...this study makes a significant contribution to the literature focusing on the ideational and societal dimensions of Chinese foreignpolicy." --Times Higher Education Supplement