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Why China Still Can't Have It All: Status Signaling, Multiple Audiences, and the Contradictions of Grand Strategy - Xiaoyu Pu, CWP Fellow

April 10, 2013 · 4:30 p.m.– 6:00 p.m. · Robertson Hall, Bowl 2

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A normal “prestige-maximizer” in the 1990s, today’s China is sending seemingly contradictory status signals: it is sometimes signaling its high status as an emerging great power, and other times it is highlighting its low profile as a poor developing country. This lecture will offer a two-level theory of status signaling that could help explain the contradictions of China’s grand strategy.

Dr. Xiaoyu Pu(蒲晓宇)is a Princeton-Harvard China and the World Postdoctoral Fellow who has research interests in international security, international relations theories, and Chinese foreign policy. During the CWP fellowship period, he will be working on a book manuscript based on this talk. Challenging the conventional wisdom that rising powers always maximize their prestige and status, this project aims to provide a two-level theory of status signaling in international politics and to explain the seemingly incoherent grand strategy of contemporary China. His previous research has appeared in journals such as International Security, The China Quarterly, Asian Affairs, World Economics and Politics as well as in edited volumes. From 2009 to 2012, he has taught at Ohio State as an instructor, and has received department chair’s commendation for excellence in teaching. Xiaoyu Pu holds a BA and an MA from Nankai University in Tianjin, and another MA from Kent State University in Ohio. He will receive his PhD in political science from the Ohio State University Summer 2012.

This talk is sponsored by the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program of the Woodrow Wilson School whose mission is to encourage research on China’s foreign relations and China within the international relations context.