The Chinese Mirror Has Two Faces? Understanding China's United Nations Peacekeeping Participation.
Abstract: This dissertation explains why and when China will deploy its troops to UN peacekeeping missions. Of interest here is the relationship between two categories of explanations: geopolitical-material and organizational drivers versus social drivers in Chinese decisions to deploy troops, and to what extent China's two images - as a member of the great powers and as a member of the Global Sou... read moreth - is relevant to Chinese deployment decisions. In order to explore the research question and tease out the causal mechanisms at play, the dissertation uses a controlled comparison of three cases of Chinese peacekeeping activity: participation in the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID); the Chinese `missing' participation to the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), and the Chinese participation in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Within each case there are multiple causal process observations, and in total the research spans almost a decade-long period. The theoretical innovation of this research is in debunking the popular conception that Chinese deployment to UN peacekeeping can be explained by geopolitical-material and organizational concerns alone, and illustrating that image - a social construct based on an actor's self-perception - can also be a driver in Chinese deployment decisions, where actions are taken to project an image consistent with China's own self-identified foreign policy role. Moreover, this dissertation finds that China has particular concerns in staying aligned with its great power reference group. This dissertation is the first comprehensive, theoretically-informed analysis of China's engagement in the United Nations peacekeeping regime. These findings contribute to our academic understanding of China as a foreign policy actor, and also provide policy-relevant insights for those working on China-related tasking at the United Nations and elsewhere.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2012.
Submitted to the Dept. of Diplomacy, History, and Politics.
Advisor: Daniel Drezner.
Committee: Alastair Iain Johnston, Ian Johnstone, and Alan Wachman.
Keywords: International relations, Political Science, and International law.read less