A Triangular Relationship
Leuven Global Governance series
Edited by Jan Wouters, Jean-Christophe Defraigne and Matthieu Burnay
Chapter 17: China in Latin America: cooperation and hegemony?
The preeminence of the realist theory has long dominated the study of power in international relations, but is nowadays often questioned. The analysis of an emerging power is, as such, a tremendous learning opportunity in this context. In order to go beyond the classical antagonism between the institutional and realist perspectives, this chapter deals with power in an alternative way. By using a heterodox approach to hegemony, it allows understanding of the phenomenon of insidious domination (Cox, 1983; Wintgens and Mariage, 2011/12: 3–20). Indeed, the increase of China’s worldwide influence does not only depend on the availability of its tangible and intangible resources, nor on its ability to mobilize them adequately. China also values its brand, both the image it tends to project on the world stage and its external recognition, that is, how other actors in the international system perceive it. In other words, China’s rising power is also measured through its capacity to ‘assert itself as a reference’ for its emerging peers, or even for Western powers (Santander, 2009a: 24).
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