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International Studies Cluster Meeting

Monday 28 October 2019, 12.00PM to 2.00pm

Speaker(s): Professor Graeme Davies

Research on Chinese foreign policy has placed considerable emphasis on the effect of nationalism on public attitudes towards territorial disputes with Japan. Where there has been a lot less emphasis has been on the role that militaristic attitudes play in driving public support towards more aggressive foreign policies.  In this paper using a sample of Chinese students, we demonstrate that militarism in Chinese society has a significant impact on support for armed intervention in territorial disputes. Using a mediation model we examine the relative effects of psychological drivers, foreign policy attitudes and strategic calculations on support for sending naval forces to secure the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. We demonstrate that whilst nationalism clearly plays a role in respondent support for military intervention, militaristic attitudes also significantly affect attitudes towards support for sending naval forces to the Islands. We suggest that a growing focus on Chinese military power in the media increases mass support for a more bellicose foreign policy. In fact, we argue that the combination of both nationalistic and militaristic attitudes amongst the Chinese public creates a dangerous union of forces that may press the Chinese government into a more aggressive posture. 

Location: Room D/N/104 Derwent College

Admission: All Welcome