Do emerging powers reinforce or reshape the existing international order? Are international institutions socialising emerging powers or being used to promote alternative norms? Are we converging or diverging on values?

Dr Xiaoyu Lu addresses these questions in his 2021 book, Norms, Storytelling and International Institutions in China: The Imperative to Narrate. The book provides a political ethnography of norm diffusion and storytelling through the United Nations Development Programme in China, the first international development agency to enter post-reform China in 1979. Through three years of ethnographic research at the UNDP in China, Dr Lu explores the everyday practices of norm diffusion in emerging powers, and highlights the central role of storytelling in translating and contesting normative scripts.

In this seminar, Dr Lu will discuss how this crucial case contributes to our understanding of the ways in which China is shaping, and is shaped by, international development norms, and will present new research findings based on recent fieldwork.

About the speaker

Dr Xiaoyu Lu is an Assistant Professor in the School of International Studies at Peking University. His monographs include Norms, Storytelling and International Institutions in China: The Imperative to Narrate (Palgrave MacMillan, 2021) and a non-fiction account of the Peruvian presidential election (Lima Dream: When a Chinese Wanders into an Election, Shanghai Literature Press, 2021). His work has also appeared in The Guardian, The Diplomat, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He gained MSc and DPhil degrees in Politics at the University of Oxford.

About the chair

Amy King is Associate Professor in the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre at The Australian National University, and Deputy Director (Research) in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. She is the author of China-Japan Relations after World War Two: Empire, Industry and War, 1949-1971 (Cambridge University Press, 2016). The holder of an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship and a Westpac Research Fellowship, she leads a team researching China’s role in shaping the international economic order.

If you require accessibility accommodations or a visitor Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan please contact the event organiser.

This seminar series is part of a research project on How China Shapes the International Economic Order, generously funded by the Westpac Scholars Trust and the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, and led by A/Professor Amy King from the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.



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