Does China Matter? A Reassessment

Does China Matter? A Reassessment

Does China Matter? A Reassessment

Does China Matter? A Reassessment

Synopsis

Gerald Segal's last publishednbsp;paper 'Does China Matter?' made a considerable splash, and had he lived, it is certain that he would have followed it up with a book. This new volume honours his memory and takes forward his project,nbsp;bringing together ten leading writers on China to reassess his argument. This book opens with an detailed assessment of Dr Segal's contribution, and a reprint of the article. The rest of the chapters address the question of 'does China matter?' by focusing separately on both the global and Asian dimensions of China's presence, and on the military, political, economic and cultural aspects of its capabilities and activities. They provide an extension and critique of Segal's work in the context of an authoritative up-to-date and forward looking evaluation of China's prospects. Segal's question remains central to world politics. This essential book sets out a detailed case for exactly how, why and to whom China matters.

Excerpt

This book aims to follow up Gerry Segal's article 'Does China Matter?' (Foreign Affairs, 78:5, 1999:24-36). The article made a significant splash, and was Gerry's last major published work before he died. Had he lived, it is certain that he would have followed it up with a book on the same theme. Nobody can write the book that Gerry would have written, but the question of the title remains central to world politics, and the article gives clear guidance on what the main themes should be. Michael B. Yahuda opens the proceedings with an assessment of Gerry's life and work, and that is followed by a reprint of Gerry's 1999 article. Chapters 3-10 make a more systematic distinction between the Asian and the global forums than Gerry did, and also separate out the core themes of economy, military, politics and culture. Each of these eight chapters subjects Gerry's arguments to a full and up-to-date empirical investigation, on the basis of which their validity is either supported or questioned. They ask how well his points have stood up over the intervening years, and attempt to project their likely durability. Aside from these general guidelines, each author has been free to give the subject their own interpretation. A major purpose of the book is to pay testament to Gerry's life and career by completing his last project. Another, entirely in keeping with Gerry's critical spirit, is to assess whether his arguments have endured, and to give them more detailed examination than was possible in a short article.

We would like to thank Edwina Moreton for giving her blessing to this project, and for helping with some of the background research. Foreign Affairs earned our gratitude by allowing us to reprint Gerry's article free of charge. All royalties will go to the IISS's Gerald Segal Research Fellowship Appeal. We thank Routledge, who published many of Gerry's books, for entering into the spirit of the project, and for donating the indexing. We dedicate this book to Gerry's daughter Rachel.

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