Yu, Guo (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The principal aim of this thesis is to seek answers to the two core research questions: how has popular nationalism been instrumental in China’s Japan policy vis-à-vis its domestic politics since the end of the Cold War? And, how and to what extent Chinese government has manage popular nationalism in foreign and domestic policy practices?
Using Japan as an empirical subject, this thesis explores and investigates the complex interactive relations between popular nationalism, in particular emotions and sentiment, and foreign policy and domestic politics in post-Cold War China. The work takes a constructivist view, of which popular nationalism, foreign policy and domestic politics are seen as mutually constituted. Taking two recent diplomatic frictions between China and Japan as case studies, the thesis critically examines the mutually constitutive effects of popular nationalism on China’s Japan policy in respective to its domestic politics. In addition, the work’s pioneering studies on the new ‘inward outcry’ syndrome in Chinese nationalism further highlights the mutual constitutive relations among popular nationalism, foreign policy and domestic politics.
This thesis argues that popular nationalism plays a dynamic role in shaping China’s Japan policy. On the one hand, popular nationalism may instrumentalise to serve China’s domestic and international objectives. On the other hand, popular nationalism has to be delicately managed in order to maintain social stability, amicable relations with Japan, and increasingly, China’s international image and reputation.
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