Sino-US Relations and the Role of Emotion in State Action: by T. Shepperd

By T. Shepperd

Interpreting twenty-first century family members among the united states and China, Shepperd investigates 3 good publicised crises among those states, highlighting how social pursuits when it comes to identification and emotional wishes have been key dynamics riding those interactions and their transformation.

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Rather than taking identities and interests as given, constructivism shares a belief that these are social constructs, and as such, seeks to understand how they are produced, reproduced and transformed. This entails looking for meaning. Meaning, in the constructivist sense, arises by way of processes of interaction in an environment that creates structures affecting how behaviours and identities are constructed, and how this is reinforced by structure (often referred to as inter-subjectivity). As inter-subjective knowledge is produced through communication, patterns of communication play a key role in shaping opportunities for political action.

Given Theoretical Underpinning and Methodological Tools 33 the innovative and controversial inclusion of such a concept into the fray, it is necessary to pay further attention to this concept at this point before moving on to the particulars of how to go about analysing the empirical material. 3 Why should this be the case? How can conflict be analysed without paying attention to emotional dynamics? How can relationships be understood without investigating their emotional foundations? Most importantly, how can identities retain any sense of meaning or coherence without considering emotional senses of attachment?

The US blamed the Chinese government for enflaming nationalist sentiments as the Western media inundated the public with images of Chinese anger and destruction. The result was a sharp negative downturn in the overall relationship. Case III The final, and most recent ‘crisis’ relates to the US spy plane collision with a Chinese jet fighter in 2001. The ‘spy plane incident’ seemed to confirm the two states’ inherent animosity towards one another to many. The controversy over the US EP-3 aircraft landing on Hainan Island in April 2001 is but the most recent in a long history of Sino–US controversy over US reconnaissance activity over/near Chinese territory.

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