Fragmented Authority: The Interplay of Domestic Politics in Shaping China’s Foreign Policy

Speaker: Andrew Mertha

12:00 PM | Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Join us for a thought-provoking webinar that challenges the conventional wisdom in policy and academic circles regarding Chinese foreign policy. China is often perceived as a monolithic, top-down authoritarian juggernaut. However, this perspective is at best incomplete and at worst misleading. In this webinar, Professor Andrew Mertha from the Johns Hopkins University will illuminate how the rough-and-tumble domestic politics of China have become internationalized, deeply complicating foreign policy decisions crafted in the halls of power in Beijing and playing out in aid- and investment-recipient countries.

This is not simply a question of domestic politics constraining international politics but rather of domestic politics competing with, and in some cases supplanting, China’s nationally defined foreign policy goals. Because China’s domestic politics are overwhelmingly fragmented, decentralized, and subnational in character, such a framing is in sharp contrast with and in direct opposition to our most important key assumptions of Chinese governance, domestic and international. Professor Mertha will touch upon cases across Nicaragua, Myanmar, Ghana, and Cambodia to illustrate this larger trend.

This program is part of China Center’s “Considering China Webinar Series”, exploring important topics related to China’s many facets with the local community. Contact: [email protected] or call: 612-624-1002

Andrew Mertha is the George and Sadie Hyman Professor of China Studies, Director of the China Studies Program, and Director of the SAIS China Global Research Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Translate »