The Russian debate on China’s rise
China’s political and economic rise is widely recognised as the defining shift of the 21st century international politics, next to the fall of the Soviet Union, the US unipolar moment, and a relative decline of the West in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 global economic crisis. It has fuelled debates on shifts in the international order and paved the way for new theoretical and meta-theoretical debates. China’s rise has been of particular importance for Russia. China has emerged as Moscow’s most important bilateral partner and the most serious challenge to its regional primacy. Faced with China’s rise and growing power asymmetry, Moscow has chosen to embrace and accommodate Beijing rather than to balance against it. Ever closer ties with China not only influence Russia’s foreign policy and its international position but increasingly shape Russian economy and domestic politics.
Given the implications of China’s rise, Russia’s response to this phenomenon remains understudied. The bulk of research focuses on the dynamics between Russia and China on the one hand, and the West – the US in particular – on the other. The realist paradigm dominates the analysis of the dynamics between Russia and China. China’s rise has not been subject to research from the perspective of Russian political, economic and intellectual elites. How do particular segments of the Russian elites interpret China’s rise? What lessons do the Russian elites draw from Chinese management of economy and domestic politics? Do they perceive China as a next superpower and potential hegemon? Finally, to what extent the debate on China’s rise is suppressed by the Kremlin’s propaganda of relations ‘best in history’?
Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria
• Good first degree (at least 2:1), preferably with a social science component
• Demonstrate an interest in, and knowledge of, Russian foreign policy
• Advanced knowledge of Russian
• Have a good grounding in International Relations/Foreign Policy
The scholarship is available as a +3 PhD programme. It includes
•An annual stipend indexed to the RCUK rate (2020-21 rate estimated at £15,285 full-time)
•100% tuition fee waiver at the standard Home/EU or International rate
•Students can also draw on a Research Training Support Grant, usually up to a maximum of £750 per year