Europe, China, and the Limits of Normative Power
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Europe, China, and the Limits of Normative Power

Zsuzsa A. Ferenczy

Europe, China, and the Limits of Normative Power is a groundbreaking book, offering insights into European influence regarding China’s development, during a period when Europe confronts its most serious political, social, and economic crises of the post-war period. Considering Europe’s identity and its future international relevance, this book examines the extent to which Europe’s multi-layered governance structure, the normative divergence overshadowing EU–China relations and Europe’s crises continue to shape – and often limit – Europe’s capacity to inspire China’s development.
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Chapter 3: The art of influence

Zsuzsa A. Ferenczy


European normative power has been at the core of debates on its international ‘actorness’, alongside competing concepts such as civilian power and military power. This chapter examines perceptions on Europe's capacity to act as an international actor in its relations with China. It also provides an overview on China’s global role and influence since the 1978 reform and opening up, and assesses views on their relations. Views on Europe’s influence are unenthusiastic. Agreement persists that transformations in the global distribution of power have negatively impacted Europe's global standing, damaging its power of example to the benefit of China’s international influence. Following financial and political troubles, the Union is seen to be in relative decline, and China’s influence on its territory is seen to be growing. In a multi-layered system burdened by national rivalries, Europe’s fragmentation is perceived to have constrained its influence over China, even more so following the crises.

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