Chapter 11: China and the Changing Nature of Globalisation
Jeffrey Henderson 1. INTRODUCTION The re-emergence of China as a global economic and political power is beginning to have major consequences for political economies and societies in many parts of the world. One of the things that characterises the vast majority of research on these consequences, however, is that it operates at the level of the national (for example China and the United States) or world-regional (for example China and Africa) interfaces only. Very little of it seeks to understand the consequences of China’s rise for the nature of globalisation, and, through that ‘lens’, for particular national or sub-national political–economic and social formations.1 As will become clear below, this is an unfortunate omission for both science and policy. As a consequence, it is this concern that animates the arguments developed in this chapter. In reflecting on what the rise of China might mean for the nature of globalisation, two propositions will help to guide the subsequent argument. The first concerns the need to take ‘the global’ seriously as a level of analysis. While this argument has a history of nearly 40 years (Wallerstein 1974), the current form of US-driven globalisation (from the late 1970s/ early 1980s) and now China’s emerging global presence, serve to underline the need to break from state-centric modes of analysis (and their related expressions: ‘international’, ‘transnational’, and so on) in order to deliver the analytic categories necessary for an adequate understanding of the contemporary world and its problems. Global processes and the various forms of...
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