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Beijing stakeholder engagement on international friendship

Project: Other


This project examined newly revived international relations concepts in Chinese stakeholder use. It contributes to an interdisciplinary project based in the Institute for Social Futures (ISF), concerned with future Sino-European relations.

The China-Europe relationship is key to shaping the future of both parties. In Europe, we debate whether China is a threat or opportunity. From China, we hear increasingly vocal claims that Chinese thought provides better grounds for improving future world relations than does Western philosophy. This difference is encapsulated in a set of future-oriented concepts from Chinese history that appear in official policy, including “friendship”, “harmony” and “community of common destiny”. Where both Chinese and European debates assume that two radically different traditions have led to radically different ways of thinking about the future, this project seeks to explore where there may be grounds for mutual learning between these Chinese concepts and similar terms in Europe.

An ISF small grant enabled us to hold a one-day workshop at Renmin University in Beijing, with Beijing-based academics, think tanks, friendship organisations and NGOs, all of whom make significant use of the three concepts under scrutiny in this project. In the short term, the workshop resulted in new networks and data that fed into further academic work and grant proposals under way with collabortors in China, Sweden and the UK. In the longer term, this will be the beginning of sustained future stakeholder engagement with global impact in mind, maintained by yearly visits.

The ISF small grant also funded an academic salon on relationality in global relations, which also took place at Renmin University. Based on this academic salon, further grant applications have been developed and a special journal issue is in development.
Effective start/end date1/05/1630/06/16

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