China and International Order: The Limits of Integration

Xinyuan Dai, Duu Renn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


What does the rise of China mean for the international order, especially the liberal institutional order? Despite of the enormous scholarly attention paid to this important question, there has been no systematic effort to map out this order and how China relates to it. We examine the international institutional order using an original dataset, the Multilateral Agreements and Protocols (MAP). We further develop a new metric of a country’s embeddedness in the international institutional order. Our analysis leads us to reconsider prominent conjectures about China’s evolving relationship to the current international liberal order. We find that, relative to the global average, China is less inclined towards deep commitment to the current international institutional order. Indeed, China’s wariness about this order seems in contrast to the growing global appetite for deep commitment. Furthermore, China seems less embedded in some issue areas that are central to the international liberal order. These findings suggest that the integration of China into the current Western liberal order may not be as automatic as some have suggested and reinforce concerns over the future of global governance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-197
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Chinese Political Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Agreements
  • China
  • International Institutions
  • International Order
  • Protocols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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