Princeton University Press / 2007
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Social States is the first book to systematically test the effects of socialization in international relations--to help explain why players on the world stage may be moved to cooperate when doing so is not in their material power interests. Alastair Iain Johnston carries out his groundbreaking theoretical task through a richly detailed look at China's participation in international security institutions during two crucial decades of the "rise of China," from 1980 to 2000. Drawing on sociology and social psychology, this book examines three microprocesses of socialization--mimicking, social influence, and persuasion--as they have played out in the attitudes of Chinese diplomats active in the Conference on Disarmament, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, the Convention on Conventional Weapons, and the ASEAN Regional Forum. Among the key conclusions: Chinese officials in the post-Mao era adopted more cooperative and more self-constraining commitments to arms control and disarmament treaties, thanks to their increasing social interactions in international security institutions.
Alastair Iain Johnston is the Governor James Noe and Linda Noe Laine Professor of China in World Affairs at Harvard University.
"This book is most significant for theoretical, empirical, and political reasons. Theoretically, it explores in detail micromechanisms of socialization, moving way beyond the traditional rationalist-constructivist divide. Empirically, the book demonstrates that even China changes through socialization in international institutions. The political conclusions are obvious: Keep socializing China rather than balancing!"--Thomas Risse, Freie Universität Berlin
"This eagerly awaited book offers the most compelling analysis for China's 'peaceful rise' that I know of. Iain Johnston displays a complete mastery of international relations theory, a profound knowledge of Chinese foreign policy and East Asian regionalism, and impressive control over modern social science methods. For many years to come this will be the landmark study of one of the most important developments in contemporary world politics."--Peter J. Katzenstein, Cornell University
"Iain Johnston's Social States is a must-read for all students of international relations theory, international institutions, and international security. With his characteristic hardheaded and systematically minded approach to the big debates in international relations, Johnston has produced the single-best statement regarding socialization in contemporary global affairs. And his deep knowledge of China and institutional institutions allows him to address some of the most critical questions regarding the future global order."--Michael Barnett, University of Minnesota
Another Princeton book by Alastair Iain Johnston:
Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Strategy in Chinese History.
Political Science and International Relations
Asian and Asian American Studies