Inevitable War, US Decline or Business as Usual? Narratives on China's Ascension to Power Among American Academia

Paweł Paszak
2020 Przegląd Strategiczny  
This article aims to analyse prevalent narratives on China's rise among American academia. The attribution of a scholar to a given narrative depends on how their ideas and arguments resonate with three pivotal questions: 1) what is the current balance of power between the US and China?; 2) which variables and determinants have the greatest impact on the trajectory of Sino-American relations?; 3) what are the prospects of China's rise?. The author identifies three core narratives: 1) pessimistic
more » ... which acknowledges deteriorating position of the West and an­ticipation of a conflictual character of future relations between China and the US; 2) a balanced view that recognizes a relative decline of the US, but also assumes that China's re-emergence has apparent limitations. Potential hegemonic war is both probable and avoidable either through deeper engagement or different forms of balancing; 3) an optimistic narrative which stresses internal and external barriers to China's development that preclude its potential rise to global leadership or the preponderance of American power which is likely to endure in coming dec­ades. The Author adopts constructivist approach and employs methods of critical discourse analysis and categorization.
doi:10.14746/ps.2020.1.9 fatcat:rzjnx3vnyrf4nb5ovvh2rlul5a