China: The Pessoptimist Nation

5 February 2010 - 10:30am to 11:50am

Chatham House, London


Speaker: Professor William A. Callahan, author, China: The Pessoptimist Nation
Chair: Dr Kerry Brown, Senior Fellow, Chatham House



The rise of China presents a long-term challenge to the world not only economically, but politically and culturally. The speaker will discuss what makes China a 'pessoptimist nation', and how its identity has emerged though a positive/negative dynamic that intertwines China's domestic and international politics. He will argue for a need to use new Chinese sources and innovative analysis to better understand how Chinese people see their new place in the world.

William A. Callahan is Professor of International Politics and China Studies at the University of Manchester, and Co-Director of the British Inter-University China Centre, Oxford University. His recent publications include China: The Pessoptimist Nation (Oxford, 2010), Cultural Governance and Resistance in Pacific Asia (2006) and Contingent States: Greater China and Transnational Relations (2004).