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The Idea of Order in Ancient Chinese Political Thought: a Wightian exploration

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Speaker(s): Professor Yongjin Zhang
Chair: Professor Chris Hughes

Recorded on 20 November 2013 in Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House.

Is there any significant international thought in antiquity beyond the West? If there is, what insights can it offer? Inspired by Martin Wight’s profound contributions to international relations so steeped in historical and philosophical depth, this lecture explores how order as a pivotal idea of international relations is deliberated in ancient Chinese political thought. It investigates how alternative visions of order in international relations are imagined and the ways in which the moral and political pursuit of order is conducted in the relations among states in Ancient China. In establishing a broad claim that ancient Chinese political and philosophical deliberations are rich in international thought, it will be argued that a Wightian exploration of ancient Chinese thought is integral in our quest for international theory today.

Yongjin Zhang is professor of international politics at the University of Bristol and editor of International Orders in the Early Modern World: before the rise of the West.

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