The Impact of European and Chinese Soft Power on Regional and Global Governance


in The International Politics of EU-China Relations

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264089
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734809 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Occasional Papers

The Impact of European and Chinese Soft Power on Regional and Global Governance

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This chapter returns to issues raised by other authors in this section: the contrast between European, Chinese, and US perceptions of hard and soft power in the contexts of regional and global governance. Taking the ASEM process as a case, it shows how Europeans and Asians have approached the interaction from different institutional perspectives. Despite this, it sees ASEM as a process that reflects, and promotes, the advance of regional institutionalism in East Asia, adding an important dimension to the Europe–China relationship. This is then contrasted with the US strategy of dual divergence: a divergent internal strategy that rejects institutionalism for managing regional security; and an external divergent strategy that rejects the building of shared and reciprocal institutions between the USA and Asia. The chapter concludes that Europe's ‘balancing by convergence’ strategy has advantages over the USA's ‘balancing by divergence’ strategy.

Keywords: power perceptions; soft power; hard power; USA; Europe; regional institutionalism; ASEM

Chapter.  6313 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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