China, the West and Democratization: The Struggle for the Local and Global in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

China, the West and Democratization

The Struggle for the Local and Global in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan, 1st Edition

By Luba von Hauff


256 pages

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Hardback: 9780367030643
pub: 2020-01-30
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Drawing upon insights from international socialization theory and social psychology, this book examines China’s efforts to multi-polarize - and hence potentially de-liberalize - the international system from a local (non-democratic) perspective and then applies these insights to Beijing’s current global agency in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Specifically, the book scrutinizes Beijing’s normative engagement in Kazakhstan, a nation that evolved from an enthusiastic supporter of the West’s normative domination of international affairs into an overt critic - after having institutionalized relations with Beijing through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Tracing and juxtaposing the respective patterns of Kazakhstan’s political identity development before the SCO entered the region and after, this book not only yields unexpected conclusions about the quality of post-Soviet democratization outcomes, but also about Beijing’s local and global influence potentiality for the time to come – and its limits.

This book will be of key interest to scholars and students of China’s normative power, democratization studies, post-Soviet studies, and International Relations.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Democracy and the Local-Global Nexus of Global Dominance

1. Political Systems and International Relations after the Cold War

2. Localizing the International: On Similar Pathways and Variant Outcomes of Socialization in IR

3. Post-Soviet Kazakhstan’s Democratization Pathway (1991 – 2001): ‘Failed’ Socialization or ‘Successful’ Localisation? How Newly Independent Kazakhstan Became a ‘Democracy with Soviet Characteristics’

4. Kazakhstan’s Continued Democratization Pathway (2002 – 2012): From ‘Soviet Characteristics’ to the ‘Kazakh Way’

5. The ‘Kazakh Way’: A Chinese Construct?

6. Strategic Localization Going Global? The Belt and Road Initiative

Conclusion: Democracy and the Local-Global Nexus of Global Dominance in a Multipolar World

About the Author

Luba von Hauff is Associate Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations and Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Bundeswehr University Munich, Germany.

About the Series

Routledge Studies on Challenges, Crises and Dissent in World Politics

This new series focuses on major issues that have surfaced in recent years, and which will pose significant and complex challenges to inter/national politics in the next few decades. While we are open to any exciting ideas for edited, single or co-authored work, we are particularly interested in book proposals that explore dissent and crises in world politics and challenge our current understanding of global order. We are open to a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches including critical and postmodern studies and further relate to following themes:

  • The challenge to Western hegemony - The rise of China, India, Brazil and the revival of Russia have powerful impacts on the nature of what has long been regarded as a fixed point in IR – a common (Western, and mainly liberal) understanding of global order. The growing self-confidence of the BRICS and others as well as the emerging focus on everyday phenomena and subnational actors/groups in international politics, however, show that Western dominant views are increasingly questioned. Can a common foundation of values, ideas and interests emerge from these multifaceted challenges to Western power and values?
  • The challenge to inter/national and regional governability - The economic recession, environmental problems such as climate change, the decision of the American-led coalition to go to war in Iraq without Security Council approval, the threat of ISIS, the failure of the EU Constitution and later the Lisbon Treaty to secure popular approval and the inability of the UN to make much difference to many problems have all exposed serious deficiencies in the regional and global governance instruments that many once saw as the basis of a ‘new world order’. Is this merely a pause in an inevitable progress towards further global and regional integration or are we facing some more fundamental problems associated with the rise of multiple heterogonous and intertwined orders in global politics? How do these increasing frictions and crises impede the maintenance of national coherence in Western and non-Western states?
  • Ideologies, Religion, Nationalism and Extremism - A consequence of globalisation has been an attempt to reaffirm various local or particular identities in response to perceived challenges of globalisation, such as migration, economic restructuring, the spread of Western values and the decline of traditional morality. Illustrations of this phenomenon include the rise of Islamist politics as well as other forms of religious fundamentalism, the emergence of protest movements on the ground and growing digital communities, the rise of far right parties/groups in many countries and the question of internet and information security. How might these phenomena damage the prospects of a shared multilateral (or global?) framework of assumptions and common interests that most would see as essential to effective global governance?
  • Changing World and the lack of leadership – The world we are living in is characterized by a growing amount of uncertainties. Crises and contingency seem to emerge as the "new normal" of inter/national politics. It is thus increasingly hard for political leaders to translate power into outcomes. In this book series, we also invite contributions by former or current practitioners, policy advisors and scholars who are working in the field of academic/policy-divide to elaborate particularly their view on dissent and crises in current world affairs.

If you have an idea for a new book in Routledge Series on Dissent and Crises in World Politics, please send a written proposal to the Series Editors:

Karoline Postel-Vinay

Nadine Godehardt

For guidance on how to structure your proposal, please visit:

Learn more…

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