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postgraduate thesis: The soft can control the hard : China's soft power in a historical perspective : from the pre-Qin era to the Song dynasty

TitleThe soft can control the hard : China's soft power in a historical perspective : from the pre-Qin era to the Song dynasty
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2016
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Insisa, A.. (2016). The soft can control the hard : China's soft power in a historical perspective : from the pre-Qin era to the Song dynasty. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThis thesis offers an intellectual and political history of soft power from the pre-Qin period (XI-III century BC) to the Song dynasty (960-1279). It investigates the viability of researching soft power in ancient Chinese history, its impact in the management of interstate relations in the political order of East Asia, and, finally, the role that the legacy of pre-modern Chinese soft power plays in the construction of the current soft power discourse in the People’s Republic of China. In doing so, this research covers a variety of rudimentary perspectives on the historicity of soft power present both in the Western academic debate and in the current discourse in China. By drawing from pre-Qin Chinese political thought and contemporary scholarship, this research establishes both a methodology and a definite field of investigation for researching the normative and operational dimensions of soft power in the interstate relations of the Han, the Tang and Song empires, with a focus on the Northern Song period (960-1126). The normative dimension of the concept is outlined by examining the evolution of Chinese elites’ attitudes towards the adoption of non-coercive means in interstate politics. The operational dimension of soft power is explored by surveying diplomatic interactions and cultural exchanges between China and its neighbours. This academic work demonstrates that it is viable to research soft power dynamics in Chinese and East Asian politics. Moreover, it finds that soft power dynamics became fully evident during the Song period due to the emergence of a multipolar regional order consisting of multiple sinified states. The research establishes that, whilst Song China’s soft power policies were hindered by technological constraints, xenophobic attitudes and the unfavourable balance of power in the region, they bolstered the state’s security and its influence in East Asia until the thirteenth century. Finally, the research concludes that a reading of Chinese pre-modern soft power grounded on historical research provides a crucial component in enhancing the effectiveness and internal coherence of the current soft power discourse in contemporary China.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectHistory - Power (Social sciences) - China
Dept/ProgramHistory
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/249206

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorXu, G-
dc.contributor.advisorSanchez-Sibony, O-
dc.contributor.authorInsisa, Aurelio-
dc.date.accessioned2017-11-01T09:59:48Z-
dc.date.available2017-11-01T09:59:48Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationInsisa, A.. (2016). The soft can control the hard : China's soft power in a historical perspective : from the pre-Qin era to the Song dynasty. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/249206-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis offers an intellectual and political history of soft power from the pre-Qin period (XI-III century BC) to the Song dynasty (960-1279). It investigates the viability of researching soft power in ancient Chinese history, its impact in the management of interstate relations in the political order of East Asia, and, finally, the role that the legacy of pre-modern Chinese soft power plays in the construction of the current soft power discourse in the People’s Republic of China. In doing so, this research covers a variety of rudimentary perspectives on the historicity of soft power present both in the Western academic debate and in the current discourse in China. By drawing from pre-Qin Chinese political thought and contemporary scholarship, this research establishes both a methodology and a definite field of investigation for researching the normative and operational dimensions of soft power in the interstate relations of the Han, the Tang and Song empires, with a focus on the Northern Song period (960-1126). The normative dimension of the concept is outlined by examining the evolution of Chinese elites’ attitudes towards the adoption of non-coercive means in interstate politics. The operational dimension of soft power is explored by surveying diplomatic interactions and cultural exchanges between China and its neighbours. This academic work demonstrates that it is viable to research soft power dynamics in Chinese and East Asian politics. Moreover, it finds that soft power dynamics became fully evident during the Song period due to the emergence of a multipolar regional order consisting of multiple sinified states. The research establishes that, whilst Song China’s soft power policies were hindered by technological constraints, xenophobic attitudes and the unfavourable balance of power in the region, they bolstered the state’s security and its influence in East Asia until the thirteenth century. Finally, the research concludes that a reading of Chinese pre-modern soft power grounded on historical research provides a crucial component in enhancing the effectiveness and internal coherence of the current soft power discourse in contemporary China.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshHistory - Power (Social sciences) - China-
dc.titleThe soft can control the hard : China's soft power in a historical perspective : from the pre-Qin era to the Song dynasty-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineHistory-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2017-
dc.identifier.mmsid991043962678103414-

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