Panel Discussion, "China's Expansionism: A New Informal Empire?"

Monday, April 17, 2017 -
4:30pm to 6:00pm
Louis A. Simpson International Bldg., Rm. A71
Monday, April 17, 2017 -
4:30pm to 6:00pm

Gregory Chin (York University, Canada)
Thomas Christensen (Woodrow Wilson School)
Min Ye (Boston University)
Moderator:  Atul Kohli (Woodrow Wilson School)

In a well-known formulation, historians John Gallagher and Ronald Robinson argued that Britain during the nineteenth century built both a formal and an informal empire. While not full colonies, informal empire consisted of countries over which Britain established substantial economic and political influence.  The suggestion was that rapid economic growth in the metropole provided incentives to expand because Britain  both needed economic opportunities abroad and had the power to do so.  Subsequently this interpretation was also used by the “Wisconsin School” to explain periods of U.S. expansion overseas.  In this panel we will explore how well this type of thinking might apply to modern day China.  Is China creating a new version of an “informal empire"?

Cosponsored by the PIIRS Research Community, Empires: Domination, Collaboration, and Resistance, and the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program