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dc.contributor.advisorHammond, Daniel
dc.contributor.advisorPerkins, Christopher
dc.contributor.authorJing, Jing
dc.date.accessioned2021-09-09T14:32:53Z
dc.date.available2021-09-09T14:32:53Z
dc.date.issued2021-07-31
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/1842/38011
dc.identifier.urihttps://doi.org/10.7488/era/1282
dc.description.abstractThis thesis takes a language-oriented constructivist perspective contending that language has a shaping or constructing role in creating patterns and norms in a relationship as language and social realities are mutually constitutive. It seeks to examine the challenges in contemporary China-EU relations through engaging the official discourse (1994 to 2019) between China and the EU. Apart from understanding and examining the factors and their interrelationship behind the challenges in contemporary China-EU relations with a comprehensive analytical framework bridging constructivist and realist approaches, it endeavours to test the potential of the multidisciplinary methodology which combines corpus-driven discourse analysis and international relations (IR) studies. China-EU relations have witnessed an overall positive development with promising prospects over the last twenty-five years since the EU issued its first Asia policy paper in 1994 with a primary focus on China (Commission of the European Communities, 1994). Nonetheless, the relationship is not without challenges. Issues range from disputes in specific areas such as trade disputes and human rights disputes to unresolved, persisting issues such as the recognition of China’s market economy status (MES), the EU's arms embargo on China, as well as questions and misunderstandings from the EU about China's global visions and initiatives. In terms of longitudinal development patterns, there have also been re-occurring down-turns in the relationship, signalling its volatility in the last two decades. This thesis departs from the existing space between the high expectations of the bilateral relationship and the status-quo, thus attempt to understand the dimensions of the factors and their interrelations behind challenges in contemporary China-EU relations based on a corpus-driven discourse analysis of their official discourse across twenty-five years. The volatility and uncertainty in the relationship suggest that the challenges in China-EU relations have multidimensional driving forces. So far, realist approaches in China-EU relations focus on the impacts of materialist factors between China and the EU, such as economic and military power, in terms of the relationship. Liberal approaches focus on economic and trade issues, often considering the roles of global institutions. The differences between the languages, identities, visions, and norms of China and the EU have not been thoroughly addressed in these two approaches. Existing constructivist research on China-EU relations mostly focuses on China and the EU's conceptual differences and their influence on the relationship. Although traditional constructivist factors such as identities, cultures and ideologies have been discussed, the relationship between these factors, how they interact with discourse and materialist perspectives and how these interactions have impacted China-EU relations over the years have not been discussed from a comprehensive, longitudinal perspective. This gap exists not only because challenges in China-EU relations take place at multiple levels and are caused by multiple factors against the background of a constantly changing global environment but also due to the lack of an integrated data platform which covers the topics in China-EU relations longitudinally. This research fills this gap by analysing the official discourse between China and the EU. It establishes and engages the machine-readable corpora of the official discourse between China and the EU covering twenty-five years. Informed by grounded theory, the thesis carries out a corpus-driven discourse analysis and generates findings related to mismatches in the priorities, visions, identities as well as the normative and strategic approaches of China and the EU despite their substantial common ground and shared interests. This research contributes to current China-EU studies empirically, theoretically, and methodologically: Empirically, it enhances the understanding of factors and their dynamics behind the challenges in China-EU relations through emergent themes and data from the corpora. It enhances the arguments in the existing literature on the mismatches between China and the EU in terms of priorities, identities and visions despite the shared interests and common ground between the two. It extends the arguments in the field by pointing out that mismatches and gaps not only exist in their understandings of the international order, expectations of the other but also in areas where they have shared discourse and interests. These include their common topics of economy and trade, their self-perception and perception of the other, and their normative power approaches which are impacted by their shifting economic power in the world. These findings specify the mismatches and point out the longitudinal changes of the mismatches over the study period, which offers China-EU studies empirical evidence for targeted, specified mismatches from multiple aspects for further policy analysis and decision-making based on China-EU studies especially in terms of expectation management and other strategic choices. Theoretically, it bridges the constructivist approach and realist approach with the introduction of the paradigm of discourse and economic power as the boundary objects linking constructivist and realist approaches as well as the discipline of corpus-linguistics and international relations (IR) studies. It also complements the existing constructivist approach on the mismatches between China-EU relations by establishing the framework of Multidimensional Dynamic Mismatches for analysing the challenges in China-EU relations and potentially the challenges in other bilateral relations and beyond with a comprehensive and longitudinal perspective. Methodologically, it explores and extends the potential of a synthesised approach with corpus-driven discourse analysis applied in bilateral relations studies. It establishes the linkage between the methods of word frequency, connotations and concordance searches and priorities analysis, between content analysis of emergent themes from the corpora on identity and vision analysis, and between assertive, directive and commissive discourse, both in the form of phrases and in terms of sentence structure, and the analysis of normative power. The thesis offers a possible methodological structure for further rule and norm-oriented constructivist analysis of bilateral relationsen
dc.contributor.sponsorotheren
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.relation.hasversionHammond, D.R. & JING, J. (2016) Weak politics-depoliticization as strategic choice: an analysis of Chinese priorities on China-EU Relations. In: Harst J.V.D. & Halbertsma T. (eds.) China, East Asia and the European Union. Leiden; Boston, Brill. pp. 73–90en
dc.subjectChina-EU relationsen
dc.subjectmachine-readable corporaen
dc.subjectcorpus-driven discourse analysisen
dc.subjectconstructivist analysisen
dc.titlePriorities, visions, identities, and normative approaches: a corpus-driven discourse analysis of the official discourse between China and the EU (1994-2019)en
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen


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