Worlding the study of normative power: Assessing european and chinese definitions of the “normal”

Emilian Kavalski, Young Chul Cho

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This study contributes to the nascent worlding of the study of normative power by undertaking a parallel assessment of Normative Power Europe (NPE) and Normative Power China (NPC). There seems to have been a qualitative change in the EU’s and China’s international standing. While in the immediate post-Cold War period the EU was asserting its ability to set the range of legitimate international behavior and China appeared to be a reactive adopter of such norms, in recent years China is positioned as a normative entrepreneur and the EU’s ability has been challenged both in Europe and internationally. This study claims that such change in fortunes is not merely a result of recent developments, but pivots on the distinct repertoires of NPE and NPC - acquis communautaire for the EU and guanxi for China. The acquis communautaire suggests a “rule-based” framework for setting what passes for “normal” in global life, while guanxi offers a “relational” one. Such distinct points of departure have led to the evolution of distinct concepts and practices of normative power. The comparative study of NPE and NPC concludes by drawing attention to the nascent struggle for recognition of normative powers in global life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-65
Number of pages17
JournalUluslararasi Iliskiler
Issue number57
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Acquis communautaire
  • Guanxi
  • Normative power China
  • Normative power Europe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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