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An ‘Authoritarian Nexus’? China’s Alleged Special Relationship with Autocratic States in Latin America

Authors:

Alexander Brand,

Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, DE
About Alexander
Alexander Brand is professor of Political Science and International Relations at the Rhine-Waal University Kleve (Germany). He holds a PhD in Political Science from the Technische Universität Dresden. His main fields of research are: theories of international relations/foreign policy, U.S. foreign policy, and the global politics of development. Recent publications include: (2012) Medien – Diskurs – Weltpolitik. Wie Massenmedien internationale Politik beeinflussen, Bielefeld, transcript; (2012) BRICs and U.S. Hegemony: Theoretical Reflections on Shifting Power Patterns and Empirical Evidence from Latin America. Mainz Papers on International and European Politics (MPIEP), No. 4 (with Susan McEwen-Fial, Wolfgang Muno and Andrea Ribeiro-Hoffmann).
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Susan McEwen-Fial,

University of Mainz, DE
About Susan
Susan McEwen-Fial is senior lecturer at the University of Mainz (Germany). She holds a PhD in International Relations and Sociology from Boston University and a MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics. Her main fields of research are: U.S.-China relations, Chinese economy, and China-EU relations. Recent publications include (2012) BRICS and U.S. Hegemony: Theoretical Reflections on Shifting Power Patterns and Empirical Evidence from Latin America. Mainz Papers on International and European Politics (MPIEP), No 4 (with Alexander Brand, Wolfgang Muno and Andrea Ribeiro-Hoffmann.
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Wolfgang Muno

Zeppelin University and University of Mainz, DE
About Wolfgang
Wolfgang Muno is senior lecturer at the Department of Political Science, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. He holds a PhD in Political Science. He has been working on problems of development and underdevelopment, focusing on Latin America. Currently, he works on Latin America in international relations, regional integration, and democratic development. His most recent publications include: (2013) Clientelist corruption networks: conceptual and empirical approaches, Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft/Comparative Governance and Politics (ZfVP) 7, Special Issue 3 (12/2013); and (2014) Neue Formen regionaler Integration und Kooperation in Lateinamerika: ALBA, UNASUR und CELAC (New Forms of Regional Integration in Latin America: ALBA, UNASUR and CELAC), in: Grimmel, Andreas/Jakobeit, Cord (Eds.) Regionale Integration (Regional Integration), Baden-Baden, Nomos (in press).
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Abstract

 

China’s rise is often interpreted as a harbinger of a new era in world politics and raises the question if such a power transition may impact upon patterns of democratic rule across the globe. There is growing interest in whether China acts as an outside stabilizer for other authoritarian regimes. This paper contributes to the emerging literature on the international dimension of autocratic rule by focusing on Chinese Latin American policy. Using the method of structured focused comparisons, we want to assess whether China’s relations towards the Latin American autocracies Cuba and Venezuela differ from those with structurally similar, but democratic cooperation partners in the region, namely Costa Rica and Chile. The guiding question is whether we can detect such a pattern of specific bilateral relationships between China and other autocracies, leading to an ‘authoritarian nexus’ in Chinese foreign policy.

 

Resumen: ¿Un ‘nexo autoritario’? Supuesta relación especial de China con Estados autocráticos de América Latina

 

El ascenso de China se suele interpretar como un presagio de una nueva era en la política mundial y plantea la cuestión de si dicha transición de poder podría repercutir en los patrones de la democracia en el mundo entero. La cuestión de si China actúa como estabilizador externo para otros regímenes autoritarios suscita cada vez más interés. Este artículo es una contribución a la bibliografía emergente sobre la dimensión internacional de los sistemas autocráticos enfocándose en la política chino-latinoamericana. Mediante el método de las comparaciones estructuradas y focalizadas, queremos evaluar si las relaciones de China con las autocracias latinoamericanas de Cuba y Venezuela difieren de las relaciones con otros aliados estructuralmente similares, pero democráticos en la región, como Costa Rica y Chile. La pregunta clave es si podemos detectar este patrón de relaciones bilaterales específicas entre China y otras autocracias, un patrón que desemboque en un ‘nexo autoritario’ en la política exterior china.


DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9588
How to Cite: Brand, A., McEwen-Fial, S., & Muno, W. (2015). An ‘Authoritarian Nexus’? China’s Alleged Special Relationship with Autocratic States in Latin America. ERLACS, (99), 7–28. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9588
Published on 27 Oct 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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