Role Bargaining Strategies for China’s Peaceful Rise
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The bargaining for a new role in world politics presents a rising power with a strategic dilemma, as the new role entails a new power position in the system and a new social status in international society. China’s assertiveness in diplomacy after 2008 can be seen as a ‘role bargaining’ process between China and the outside world, such as China’s bargaining for a new role in the global financial system through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). This article aims to examine how a rising power can bargain for the new role in a peaceful way. Based on rational bargaining theory and on role theory, we suggest four strategies whereby a rising power bargains for a new role: costly signalling, self-restraint, role-diversification, and alter-casting. Through focusing on China’s World Trade Organization accession and integration into the global economy after the Cold War, we examine the utilities and limitations of these four role-bargaining strategies for a rising power in the international system. The first two strategies aim to address the information and commitment problems concomitant with rationalism that a rising power faces in negotiating a new power position, and the last two strategies focus on how a rising power can bargain for a new social role by balancing the self’s role conception and the role expectations of others.
Chinese Journal of International Politics
© 2015 Oxford University Press. This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in the Chinese Journal of International Politics journal following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version, Role Bargaining Strategies for China’s Peaceful Rise, Chinese Journal of International Politics, Volume 8, Issue 4, 1 December 2015, Pages 371–388 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/cjip/pov009