East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

East Asia Workshop: Oct. 3rd, Xunchao Zhang, “Authoritarian Hawks: Authoritarianism as Microfoundations for Hawkish Foreign Policy Preferences in China”


East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents


Authoritarian Hawks: Authoritarianism as Microfoundations for Hawkish Foreign Policy Preferences in China”


Xunchao Zhang

Analyst at Program on Political Violence (PPV) at CPOST

University of Chicago


4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

*Light refreshments will be provided*



Who are the foreign policy hawks in China? Existing literature focuses on nationalism as an explanation for popular hawkishness. However, recent empirical examination of survey data has challenged the notion of rising nationalism as a source of Chinese hawkishness. Drawing on political psychology literature, I seek to explain the hawkish preferences of ordinary Chinese citizens as the consequence of a popular illiberal authoritarian ideology, rather than nationalism. There is scant literature examining the political manifestations of authoritarian dispositions in the foreign policy domain, and moreover, international relations (IR) researchers have paid more attention to authoritarian regimes as opposed to individuals who subscribe to authoritarian ideology. Hence, this paper is an attempt to bridge the authoritarian personality literature and the IR study of hawkishness. Using data generated by a large-scale opt-in survey as well as an original causal mediation experiment fielded in China, I argue that individual foreign policy hawkishness is a result of externalization of domestic authoritarianism political values, particularly collectivism and punitiveness



*To learn more about the workshop, please visit our workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/

*Subscribe or unsubscribe to the workshop mailing-list at: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/info/east-asia

*Questions and concerns can be addressed to the student coordinator Haitong Xu (xuhaitong@uchciago.edu) and Yang Xiang (xiangalan@uchicago.edu)


Faculty sponsors:

Xi Song (Sociology), xisong@uchicago.edu

Dali Yang (Political Science), daliyang@uchicago.edu

Dingxin Zhao (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu


The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.

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