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China – The Pessoptimist Nation - Oxford Scholarship Online
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China: The Pessoptimist Nation

William A. Callahan


The rise of China presents a long‐term challenge to the world not only economically, but also 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 the world. The heart of Chinese foreign policy is not a security dilemma, but an identity dilemma. Chinese identity emerges through the interplay of positive and negative feelings: China thus is the pessoptimist nation. This positive–negative dynamic intertwines China's domestic and international politic ... More

Keywords: Chinese nationalism, Chinese foreign policy, identity, security, civilization, barbarism, national humiliation, patriotic education

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199549955
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199549955.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William A. Callahan, author
Professor of International Politics and China Studies, University of Manchester Co-Director, British Inter-university China Centre, Oxford
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