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Conceptualising the Role and Responsibility of Great Power: China's Participation in Negotiations toward a Post-Second World War Order

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The early- to mid-1940s leading to the establishment of the United Nations have often been cited by historians and international relations scholars as a critical historical juncture where the concept of Great Power responsibility became institutionalised into the fabric of international society. How such a concept came about, however, and how ideas about their roles and responsibilities were debated and projected by the Great Powers themselves, have been given less prominence in the literature. In particular, China's role in negotiating a post-Second World War order has been largely neglected. This analysis thus explores projections of China's Great Power role as well as examines how China conceptualised, negotiated, and used notions of Great Power responsibility and how this interplayed with wider notions in international society. Despite the operational constraints China faced, there was more Chinese agency and deliberation than is traditionally portrayed, with China bringing some important ideas to the negotiating table.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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