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  • Nordin_and_Smith_Ontology_of_relations_IRAP_2018

    Rights statement: This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in International Relations of the Asia-Pacific following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Astrid H M Nordin, Graham M Smith; Reintroducing friendship to international relations: relational ontologies from China to the West, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Volume 18, Issue 3, 1 September 2018, Pages 369–396, https://doi.org/10.1093/irap/lcy011 is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/irap/article/18/3/369/5042962

    Accepted author manuscript, 595 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


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Reintroducing Friendship to International Relations: Relational Ontologies from China to the West

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/09/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>International Relations of the Asia Pacific
Issue number3
Number of pages28
Pages (from-to)369-396
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date22/06/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Chinese government representatives and scholars have attempted to ameliorate fears about China’s rise by portraying China as a new and friendlier kind of great power. It is claimed that this represents a new way of relating which transcends problematic Western understandings of self-other relations and their tendency to slip into domination and enmity. This article takes such claims as a point of departure, and analyses them with focus on the explicit discussions of friendship in international relations theory. Paying attention to current Chinese thinking which emphasises guanxi relationships, friendship can contribute to the development of genuinely relational international relations thinking and move beyond a focus on ossified forms of friendship and enmity centred on the anxious self. The vantage point of friendship suggests a way out of the dangers of theorising Self in contrast to Other, and re-opens the possibility to conceptualise Self with Other.