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Chinese HegemonyGrand Strategy and International Institutions in East Asian History$
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Feng Zhang

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804793896

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804793896.001.0001

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Fundamental Institutions of Chinese Hegemony

Fundamental Institutions of Chinese Hegemony

(p.153) Six Fundamental Institutions of Chinese Hegemony
Chinese Hegemony

Feng Zhang

Stanford University Press

On the basis of the theoretical and empirical analyses of the preceding chapters, Chapter 6 analyzes the fundamental institutions of East Asian order. It argues that early-Ming Chinese hegemony in the region was at the same time a distinct international society with its own rules, norms, and institutions. The chapter develops a relational framework of the constitutional structure of the society of Chinese hegemony. The framework explains the institutional manifestations of tributary diplomacy while also observing other fundamental institutional practices. Although tributary diplomacy was an extremely consequential institution, it was not always the most important one. The East Asian society of Chinese hegemony was broader and more dynamic than the tribute system. Conceptualizing the tribute system as an international society is useful for highlighting the distinctiveness of international relations in East Asian history. But it is inadequate for understanding the full dynamics of regional relations.

Keywords:   fundamental institutions, international society, constitutional structure, Chinese hegemony, tributary diplomacy, tribute system, East Asian society

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