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Public Lecture

China: A Modern Empire

Gunter Schubert (University of Tübingen)


PLEASE NOTE: This lecture had to be cancelled.

China's rise and its impact on the international order are among the hottest and most controversial issues debated by political elites and scholars worldwide. In this lecture it is hypothesized that Chinese approach to international politics does increasingly follow the logic of Empire and should thus be explained from a theoretical perspective of imperial behaviour. Images and imaginations of geopolitical space, periphery, a civilizing mission, and a Pax Sinica providing peace and prosperity in the Asian region and beyond do increasingly capture the minds of Chinese intellectuals and policy-makers. Empires are not per se belligerent, but they overarch, absorb or penetrate existing orders and make political actors gear towards the (interests of the) imperial center. By addressing examples of China’s geopolitical aspirations and agency in contemporary times the lecture suggests that China is best be understood as a nascent modern Empire and ponders the question what this means for the evolution of the international order.



28th of January 2020, 16-17:30h



University and City Library of Cologne

3rd floor, Room BVI

Kerpener Str. 20 (Entrance)

50937 Cologne