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Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China's Foreign Relations (Paperback)
  • Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China's Foreign Relations (Paperback)
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Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China's Foreign Relations (Paperback)

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£28.49
Paperback 360 Pages / Published: 25/09/2014
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Why has the Chinese government sometimes allowed and sometimes repressed nationalist, anti-foreign protests? What have been the international consequences of these choices? Anti-American demonstrations were permitted in 1999 but repressed in 2001 during two crises in US-China relations. Anti-Japanese protests were tolerated in 1985, 2005, and 2012 but banned in 1990 and 1996. Protests over Taiwan, the issue of greatest concern to Chinese nationalists, have never been allowed. To explain this variation in China's response to nationalist mobilization, Powerful Patriots argues that Chinese and other authoritarian leaders weigh both diplomatic and domestic incentives to allow and repress nationalist protests. Autocrats may not face electoral constraints, but anti-foreign protests provide an alternative mechanism by which authoritarian leaders can reveal their vulnerability to public pressure. Because nationalist protests are costly to repress and may turn against the government, allowing protests demonstrates resolve and increases the domestic cost of diplomatic concessions. Repressing protests, by contrast, sends a credible signal of reassurance, facilitating diplomatic flexibility and signaling a willingness to spend domestic political capital for the sake of international cooperation. To illustrate the logic, the book traces the effect of domestic and diplomatic factors in China's management of nationalist protest in the post-Mao era (1978-2012) and the consequences for China's foreign relations.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780199387564
Number of pages: 360
Weight: 484 g
Dimensions: 233 x 167 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Jessica Weiss advances an elegant model of the interaction between domestic pressures and diplomatic context. Richly detailed empirical case studies provide strong support for a conceptual argument rooted in the tradition of twolevelgames. * Jonathan Sullivan, Political Studies Review. *
...Weiss proves to be a tenacious investigator, making her book an invaluable chronicle of how China, Japan and the US have handled charged diplomatic confrontations. * Financial Times *
Chen Weiss has helped us open the black box that connects domestic politics with foreign policy. Her probing of nationalist protests is thorough and nuanced. * Perspectives on Politics *
Jessica Weiss has written a pioneering rationalist account of when, how and why Chinese leaders use nationalist protest for foreign policy bargaining purposes. The argument is tight, and the evidence is both rich and systematically presented. The book is an important addition to the small but burgeoning literature on the foreign policy of authoritarian states, and on the role of public opinion in Chinese foreign policy. Definitely a must-read book. * Alastair Iain Johnston, Harvard University *
In her timely and pathbreaking study... Jessica Chen Weiss has taken us behind the scenes of a crucial form of diplomatic theatre. She introduces us to influential players we never knew, decodes sensitive government decisions reached in private, and provides the first systematic analysis of Chinese handling of grassroots nationalist demonstrations. With the analytical power of a social scientist, and the reach of a great investigator, Weiss found and interviewed nearly two hundred activists, diplomats, and others. Her findings should retire two caricatures: protesters as mere puppets of the state, and mobs of unmanageable nationalists who force the hand of diplomats; the truth lies in between, and Weiss has laid it bare. This is a book every China watcher will need at hand as the conflicts in the East China Sea and South China Sea set the stage for wider protests in the years to come. * Evan Osnos, author of Age of Ambition and staff writer at New Yorker *
This important and timely book provides the first systematic study of anti-foreign protests in today's China. Weiss offers a novel and nuanced argument to explain when and why these protests are allowed - and when and why they are suppressed. As Weiss shows, the diplomatic objectives that China's leaders pursue are often a decisive factor, as protests can be tolerated to signal resolve or blocked to signal reassurance. Anyone interested in contemporary Chinese foreign policy should read this book. * M. Taylor Fravel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology *
This is a fascinating analysis of how Chinese leaders have tried to manage, and sometimes manipulate, the double-edged sword of nationalist sentiment in international disputes with Japan and the U.S. Weiss shows how the regime takes advantage of nationalist protests to credibly convey resolve in disputes, and also how credibility entails costs-risks to regime stability and risks of unintended military escalation. Essential reading for anyone interested in possible paths to interstate war and regime change in Asia. * James D. Fearon, Stanford University *
Are Chinese policymakers driven to take more assertive foreign policy positions by the pressure of nationalist public opinion, or do they merely use that opinion as a tool to strengthen their hand in negotiations with other powers? Weiss presents a nuanced but clear answer in favor of the latter position. * Foreign Affairs *

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