Paul Evans

Professor

Relevant Degree Programs

 

Graduate Student Supervision

Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
Strategic liminality in the U.S.-China security dilemma : how conflicting philosophies of world order can establish points of productive cooperation (2018)

During the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held in October of 2017, General Secretary Xi Jinping stated that “the military should make all-out efforts to become a world-class force by 2050 and to strive for the realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” The nature of what Xi means by such a rejuvenation is up for debate and will be the question driving this analysis. The main objective of this thesis is to home in on the ideational influences that Xi Jinping factors into his strategic calculus as they derive meaning from conceptions of world order. The first chapter of this thesis examines a few of the narratives and philosophical discourses that shape and influence both Chinese and American understandings of world order. I have analyzed Xi Jinping’s speeches through an interpretative discourse analysis to parse out points of continuity and discontinuity in Chinese military strategy as it stems from tradition. As Western strategists, more specifically American security policy makers, attempt to make sense of Xi Jinping’s intentions, I argued that concepts of world order play a growing role in Chinese strategic narrative, preferences and culture. Following the work of Alastair Johnston and Andrew Scobell, I contended that the PRC employs a bifurcated strategic culture in which Confucian benevolent virtue is partnered with a realpolitik strand, both of which stem from Chinese history and visions of a proper world order. This thesis lastly examined security policy implications and the proper steps the Pentagon should take given the strategic situation at hand. The extent to which U.S. security officials wish to gauge and understand China’s kinetic military action as it follows PRC grand strategic rhetoric matters greatly for future Sino-American relations. For strategic diplomatic negotiations to occur over highly contested flash-points in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, the US needs to recalibrate its understanding of Chinese strategic culture and intentions as they are influenced by historical and philosophical assessments.

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Anti-Chinese attitudes in post-communist Mongolia : the lingering negative schemas of the past (2011)

This thesis examines “anti” attitudes in general and anti-Chinese attitudes in Mongolia in particular, to answer the puzzle: Why do anti-Chinese attitudes in Mongolia still persist after both nations have enjoyed friendly, neighborly state-to-state relations for more than two decades? The argument is made that anti-Chinese attitudes in Mongolia are persistent because of lingering impacts of artificially-consolidated negative schemas about China, Chinese people, and their culture from the 1960s-1980s. Mongolian political elites at that time institutionalized anti-Chinese attitudes, introducing only negative schemas, while blocking all other sources for positive or neutral schemas about China. Nevertheless, Mongolian political elites’ attitudes toward China became noticeably positive since mid-2000 due to increased interactions, information, and the changing economic reality despite of the fact that unfavorable views of China and the anti-Chinese attitudes have still dominated the media, blogosphere, and public discourses. The main reason for the gap between attitudes of the political elites and the public can be explained by a reluctance of the political elites and intellectuals to de-construct the past schemas because of its diacritic purpose to differentiate Mongolian identity in addition to material realities.This thesis also contends that anti-Chinese attitudes in Mongolia are a variant of a global anti-Chinese phenomenon. The “anti” attitudes are explained by three main reasons: a power imbalance, a backlash against economic activities, and conflicting identities. In this regard, the Mongolian case study is an excellent entry point to understand the causes and consequences of anti-Chinese attitudes in the small, developing, democratic Chinese neighbors.This thesis uses analytical approaches for a similar phenomenon, anti-Americanism, and extensively uses the notion of schema, as developed by Katzenstein and Keohane (2007) in their conceptualization of anti-Americanisms.

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Follow the money : philanthropy in China - who's giving, to whom, and why? (2012)

Surveys conducted in China suggest that the Chinese are not generous with their resources- their money, time, or help. However, there is much evidence to the contrary, when viewing thedata with different lenses. Giving is increasing and the growth of civil society is accelerating.This thesis examines the individual philanthropic giving that occurs in the Peoples Republic ofChina (PRC). By “following the money” this study fills in a gap in available academic literature,and investigates the influences on giving behavior and the particular giving characteristics of theChinese. This paper examines the social, cultural, economic and political factors; the regulatoryframework - such as laws and regulations; and, other developments occurring around the PRCby local authorities responding to civil society crises in transparency and reporting requirements.The research strategies employed throughout are: (1) quantitative surveys, (2) qualitative ethnographicresearch methods, and (3) field research conducted during 2011. By using recentevents such as the Sichuan earthquake in 2008 - when Chinese individuals donated recordamounts of resources - and the public trust crisis of 2011, this study reflects on the current issuesinfluencing giving. The qualitative research provides an in-depth look at the historical influenceson giving. Data have been collected from government, civil society, and business reports;international and domestic surveys; media reports; PRC statutes and regulations. Some viewChinese as lacking generosity, but perspective on this issue is particularly important when consideringthe cultural, economic and political differences between people groups compared. Thisthesis explores the giving that occurs in the PRC and the influences on that giving - which wecall - individual philanthropic giving with Chinese characteristics. By following the money, thisthesis provides a comprehensive perspective and interpretation of the giving that currently occursin the PRC and how it differs from giving in other countries around the world.

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One truth, two minds, and three tongues : conflicting media representations of the 2010 Chinese rare earth controversy (2012)

On September 7, 2010, a Chinese fishing trawler collided with two Japanese Coast Guard patrolvessels near the Pinnacle Islands in the East China Sea, a territory claimed by both China andJapan. Following the arrest of the Chinese fishermen and the prolonged detention of the Chinesecaptain by the Japanese maritime authority, the collision incident escalated into a diplomaticshowdown between the two countries. Eventually, challenged with China’s reported halting ofJapan-bound rare earth metals export, vital raw materials for many Japanese industry sectors,the Japanese government conceded and released the captain. A flood of conflicting reports onChina's handling of the event ensued. On the one hand, outside of China, criticisms focused onChina’s political manipulation of trade and resource protectionism were rampant; on the otherhand, the Chinese media denied any claims of embargo, shied away from discussing thecollision, and focused on delineating China’s rare earth policy challenges. Nevertheless, manyfacts surrounding China's rare earth policy have been overlooked, misrepresented,misinterpreted, or misreported. By analyzing government policy documents, as well as newsarticles collected from Factiva and Lexis-Nexis databases and Chinese websites, this thesislooks at the discrepancies between major Western and Chinese media reporting andrepresentations of the 2010 Rare Earth Controversy specifically, and of China's rare earth policyin general. In the process, the thesis also presents the institutional, social, and political andeconomic complexities surrounding China's rare earth policy making.

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The levels of analysis question in the cross-Strait bargain : domestic constraints and international bargaining power (2012)

Our understanding of the bargain between China and Taiwan depends on our ability to effectively untangle the myriad of processes that exists at multiple levels across the Taiwan Strait. By examining in this context Robert Putnam's two-level game, widely endorsed as the answer to this methodological puzzle but never rigorously examined, I seek to determine the relevant levels of analysis needed to explain, predict, and shape cross-Strait bargaining outcomes. I examine two working hypotheses and a set of supporting questions, derived from Putnam's article and related works, against empirical evidence from the most recent iteration of the cross-Strait bargain, from Ma Ying-jeou's election in 2008 to the 2012 Presidential Elections in Taiwan. On the methodological front, the empirical evidence speaks to the power of systemic-level variables, but ultimately demonstrates the necessity of incorporating domestic-level variables according to the two-level game's interactive logic in any analysis shorter than the longest of the long runs. Regarding substantive aspects of the cross-Strait bargain, my findings suggest that Beijing is most likely to succeed in manipulating the Taiwanese domestic constituency by focusing on mobilizing segments of Taiwanese society with interests similar to its, specifically through agent-specific punishment promoting the KMT at the expense of the DPP. We are presented with the situation in which the KMT is the better agent when it comes to gaining concessions from Beijing, but cannot do so unless the DPP has a credible chance to spend regular time in office.

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Anti-Chinese attitudes in post-communist Mongolia : the lingering negative schemas of the past (2011)

This thesis examines “anti” attitudes in general and anti-Chinese attitudes in Mongolia in particular, to answer the puzzle: Why do anti-Chinese attitudes in Mongolia still persist after both nations have enjoyed friendly, neighborly state-to-state relations for more than two decades? The argument is made that anti-Chinese attitudes in Mongolia are persistent because of lingering impacts of artificially-consolidated negative schemas about China, Chinese people, and their culture from the 1960s-1980s. Mongolian political elites at that time institutionalized anti-Chinese attitudes, introducing only negative schemas, while blocking all other sources for positive or neutral schemas about China. Nevertheless, Mongolian political elites’ attitudes toward China became noticeably positive since mid-2000 due to increased interactions, information, and the changing economic reality despite of the fact that unfavorable views of China and the anti-Chinese attitudes have still dominated the media, blogosphere, and public discourses. The main reason for the gap between attitudes of the political elites and the public can be explained by a reluctance of the political elites and intellectuals to de-construct the past schemas because of its diacritic purpose to differentiate Mongolian identity in addition to material realities.This thesis also contends that anti-Chinese attitudes in Mongolia are a variant of a global anti-Chinese phenomenon. The “anti” attitudes are explained by three main reasons: a power imbalance, a backlash against economic activities, and conflicting identities. In this regard, the Mongolian case study is an excellent entry point to understand the causes and consequences of anti-Chinese attitudes in the small, developing, democratic Chinese neighbors.This thesis uses analytical approaches for a similar phenomenon, anti-Americanism, and extensively uses the notion of schema, as developed by Katzenstein and Keohane (2007) in their conceptualization of anti-Americanisms.

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