China’s Rise in British Politics

I have a new article forthcoming in The Chinese Journal of International Politics, which examines the impact of China’s rise upon party politics in Britain. The broader point is that the coming shift toward multipolarity in world politics is going to have dramatic implications for domestic and local politics, not just in the so-called periphery but also in the traditional “core” of the international system.

How is the rise of China affecting world politics? Among Western International Relations scholars, most studies of China’s rise have focused on international-level implications—the balance of power between leading states, the future of regional and global orders, prospects for hegemonic war, and so forth—or the domestic politics of states along the periphery of the international system, especially in Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In this article, I draw attention to the impact of China’s rise on the domestic politics of developed countries. In particular, I offer a case study of British politics between 2010 and 2016—a period during which politicians from both of Britain’s major political parties ‘weaponized’ China, so making it a significant feature of the domestic political topography. The overarching point is that momentous geopolitical shifts such as the rise of China are capable of reorienting domestic politics in developed (Western) countries just as much as they are in developing (non-Western) countries.

Access the article here; or here, for free access.