What is the relationship between Chinese International Relations (IR) scholars and China’s foreign policy? How do we study China’s foreign policy through the eyes of Chinese IR scholars? Although Chinese scholars are normally quoted as valuable sources in the study of Chinese foreign policy in general, there is no systematic study of China’s IR scholars per se. This talk will examine an emerging research program focusing on the study of Chinese international relations (IR) scholars, especially their internal debates, as a new venue to understand China’s foreign policy. In addition, researchers need to pursue theoretical innovations on the relationship between different types of IR scholars and foreign policy inquiries, advance multi-method research designs across the different methods of field interviews, textual analysis, and opinion surveys, as well as encourage international collaboration between Chinese scholars and non-Chinese scholars.
Kai He is Professor of International Relations and Director of the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University, Australia.