Problematizing “Constructive Engagement” in EU-China Policy

Edited by Roland Vogt

in Europe and China

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9789888083879
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209077 | DOI:
Problematizing “Constructive Engagement” in EU-China Policy

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'Constructive engagement' is the rhetorical hallmark of Europe's policy towards China. This approach fits with the European self-imagination as a normative and civilian power that promotes regional integration and multilateral channels to advance its interests. But a closer critical analysis reveals that this European self-conception is not only an attempt to discursively create its own identity but also a normative project to gradually transform China. Arguably this is a false promise which has exacerbated the misexpectations and the cognitive gap between both sides. The longer this European self-imagination is kept intact the more disillusionment the EU will experience in its relations with China.

Keywords: Constructive engagement; Rhetoric; Norms; False promise; Self/Other construction

Chapter.  8132 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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