Exchanging Eurocentrism for Sinocentrism: a comment on hierarchy and Asian international relations

Dr Shogo Suzuki, University of Manchester


  28.Oct.2009 17.00 - 18.30


  The Conference Room, ICOSS, Portobello, University of Sheffield - Sheffield


International Relations (IR) theory has often been criticised for its Euro-centrism and limitations in understanding the non-European world. In a new attempt to explain 'Asian puzzles', David Kang has argued for IR theory to take Asian history and experiences seriously, and forwarded an influential explanation of China's rise based on the notion of hierarchy. But to what extent is he successful? In this paper, I argue that Kang's notion of 'Asian' IR ultimately fails because his argument simply replaces Euro-centrism with Sino-centrism. This in turn, limits the extent to which we can understand the Asia-Pacific's reaction to the rise of China.


Shogo Suzuki is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Manchester, UK. He received his Ph.D. from the Australian National University in Political Science and International Relations. His research focuses on Sino-Japanese relations, Chinese foreign policy and Japanese foreign policy. He is the author of Civilization and Empire: China and Japan¹s Encounter with European International Society, as well as articles which have appeared in European Journal of International Relations, The Pacific Review, Third World Quarterly, and International Relations.