«The Chinese Challenge to the Western Order»
edited by Antonio Fiori and Matteo Dian. Trento,
FBK Press, 2014
It would not be a too much to say that there is already a large number of texts on the role of China in the world, both from a regional and a global perspective. The stunning and sustained economic growth that the country has been enjoying for more then twenty years has scholars from all corners of the globe scratching their heads and asking, is Chinese growth sustainable in the long term? And, will it represent a model for other developing countries? The economic power acquired by China in the course of the last few decades has brought to the fore further issues. In particular, the question of if and when this impressive growth will be channelled towards military power, and a more assertive foreign policy. In this sense, we are lead to ask, will China move to challenge, or even overthrow, the world order as it stands, led by western powers and based on the principles of liberal democracy? It is into this densely populated intellectual landscape that the latest offering, The Chinese Challenge to the Western Order, edited by Antonio Fiori from the University of Bologna and Matteo Dian from the University of Venezia, finds its own voice. The collection of seven essays approaches this controversial issue from several of points of view, attempting to delineate a coherent and comprehensive analysis of the changes in Chinese international relations since the end of the Cold War. The overarching analytical lens adopted in the volume ranges from an explication of the development of innovative and autochthonous ideas tied up in the political and social development of China, to strategic and military issues, and on to a broader analysis dissecting China’s relations with regional and global actors. Given the indepth and broad discussion that is a hallmark of each chapter, this work clearly holds academic value.