Analysis of a Growing China in Relation to the United States | Seelio
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This paper analyzes China’s rise to power and the resultant implications for the international system through both a neorealist and constructivist lens. I focused on the economic, political, and structural situation in which China currently acts.  Additionally, I explained the two theories in depth in order to ensure an understanding between my reader and myself regarding the different perspectives utilized in my analysis.  I focused on the subsets of defensive and offensive neorealism to determine whether or not China’s rise to power is a threat to the international community.  Unfortunately, there is no consensus between the two regarding the potential of war; however, both views expect tension and competition due to the possible hegemonic changes.  I also focused on the constructivist views of evolving norms and interests as well as the disconnection between the United States’ hopes and expectations versus China’s actual interests and capabilities as a state.  Additionally, I discussed how China’s identity is being constructed both internally and externally in the international system and what this means for the future.  Both neorealism and constructivism have shortcomings that I have addressed both in the nature of the theory and in their analysis of China’s rising power.  Still, I claim that while constructivism is far from perfect, it is the most comprehensive of the two theories because it considers the structure as well as identities in the international system.  My thesis explains how I came to make this distinction.  I felt that a theory should be both comprehensive and offer the ability to predict potential international actions.  Therefore, I focused on sifting through the theories to decide which theory better encompassed these requirements. 

  • The Rise of China: Threat or Opportunity An analysis through a constructivist and neorealist lens



  • Melissa Stoker

    Melissa Stoker / research, analysis, author

    Admissions Counselor - Towson University


Literature, Political Science

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