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Friendship and Politics: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2018
<mark>Journal</mark>AMITY: The Journal of Friendship Studies
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)30-42
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This workshop brought into conversation some of the interlocutors from the Chinese and Western traditions who have argued for the study of politics to turn its focus from the prevalence of enmity to the possibility of friendship. There is a wealth of thinking about friendship in both the Chinese and Western traditions and even significant overlap between the two perspectives. Yet, to date, there has been little direct dialogue between these interlocutors, and little development of cross- cultural understandings of friendship and its importance for politics. The workshop contributed to the construction of a cross-cultural exploration of friendship and politics, moving ‘beyond the West’ through engagement with Chinese thought on the mainland and on Taiwan. Looking at models and practices of friendship in politics in both the Chinese and Western traditions, the workshop explored friendship in both its normative and analytical dimensions, and understood it have both theoretical and empirical manifestations. In so doing, the workshop formulated and discussed a number of questions about friendship and politics, including to raise questions about the possibilities and limitations of its own ‘cross- cultural’approach. Theworkshopwasalsoanimportantstepinbuildingglobalrelationsbetweenscholars with a view to establishing a wider network in the longer term. Although considered an important first step, the workshop also pointed to the need to move the study of friendship and politics beyond the Chinese and Western traditions to consider the much wider cultural and global perspectives on this topic.