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Bajpai, Ravi Dutt. Civilizational Perspectives in International Relations and Contemporary China-India Relations
2018, Civilizational Perspectives in International Relations and Contemporary China-India Relations. in "The ‘Clash of Civilizations’ 25 Years On: A Multidisciplinary Appraisal" eds Orsi, D. E-International Relations Publishing
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, Contributed by: Alex Lopez Postma
Abstract: This paper explores the assumptions of civilizational identities purely based on cultural, religious or geographical distinctions and their limitations. It reviews the ‘civilizations’ discourse in IR and discusses the concept of ‘civilization states’ in the context of China and India. It analyzes the key components of civilizational overlaps and exchanges between these two countries and the invocation of their ‘civilization-state’ identity in their contemporary bilateral relations. Rejecting Huntington’s ‘clash of civilizations’ hypothesis in understanding ‘civilization-states’ like China and India, I conclude that it is critical to understand how states perceive their civilizational heritage, which both facilitates and impedes bilateral exchanges and the conduct of international relations.

Comment: Offers a critique of the basic assumptions in IR. Argues that any purposeful analysis of the China-India bilateral relationship and their worldviews is not possible without studying their inter-civilizational links. This text could be used to discuss cultural generalizations and cross cultural links. Suitable for a course on postcolonial IR.

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