China’s Institutional Challenges to the International Order
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This article examines one critical but understudied question: how does China challenge the international order through multilateral institutions? By integrating institutional balancing theory in international relations (IR) and prospect theory in behavioral psychology, this article introduces a “prospect-institutional balancing” model to explain how China has utilized two types of institutional balancing strategies to challenge the US-led international order. We argue that China is more likely to use inclusive institutional balancing to challenge the United States in an area where it has a relatively advantageous status, such as the economic and trade arena. When China faces a security challenge with disadvantageous prospects, it is more likely to take risks to conduct exclusive institutional balancing against the United States. Using China’s policy choices in the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) as two case studies, the project tests the validity of the “prospect-institutional balancing” model.1 It concludes that China’s institutional challenge to the international order will be more peaceful than widely predicted.
Strategic Studies Quarterly
© 2017 Air University (AU). This article is courtesy of Strategic Studies Quarterly and first appeared in Volume 11, Issue 4, Winter 2017. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.