Beyond Eurocentrism and Sinocentrism: China and Europe Compared
Dr. Victoria Tin-bor Hui
Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame.
Is the Western civilization unique? The East is often taken as the counter-example of the West. Based on this presumption, scholars argue that political science theories are Eurocentric and should be supplemented by non-Western theories. Hui proposes a research agenda that transcends the Eurocentrism versus exceptionalism debate by de-essentializing the Chinese civilization and "getting history right." She unpacks "China" in the longue duree and demonstrates that historical China shares with historical Europe similar dynamics in inter-state and state-society relations. .
Dr. Hui's research examines the dynamics of international politics and state-society relations in historical China and historical Europe. She is the author of War and State Formation in Ancient China and Early Modern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2005), which won the 2006 Jervis-Schroeder Award from the American Political Science Association (for the best book on international history and politics) and the 2005 Edgar S. Furniss Book Award from the Ohio State University's Mershon Center for International Security Studies (for an author whose first book makes an exceptional contribution to the study of national and international security). A coauthored article "Testing Balance of Power Theory in World History" was awarded the best article in the European Journal of International Relations for the years 2007-09. She has also published "Toward a Dynamic Theory of International Politics" in International Organization, "The Emergence and Demise of Nascent Constitutional Rights" in The Journal of Political Philosophy, "History and Thought in China's Traditions" in the Journal of Chinese Political Science, and book chapters "The Triumph of Domination in the Ancient Chinese System" and "Problematizing Sovereignty." In addition to publishing in English, Hui has also extensively published in leading Chinese venues, including articles in World Economics and Politics and International Political Science, and a book with the Shanghai People's Publishing House.
Hui's current research examines the centrality of war in the formation and transformation of China in history. This project has received funding from the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Earhart Foundation, the United States Institute of Peace, the Fulbright Fellowship Program, the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, the East Asia Institute Fellows Program on Peace, Governance, and Development in East Asia supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts and the Kellogg Institute of the University of Notre Dame.
Hui worked in the democracy movement in Hong Kong before her graduate studies. She has been an academic advisor to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict since 2006 and a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations since 2008.
Dr. Hui's lecture was held in the Escondido Theater at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX, February 26, 2015.