How would a hegemonic China shape international norms related to states, nations, and territoriality? Scholars have noted the conflict between the right of minority nations to self-determine and the right of states to maintain their territorial integrity. An unrestricted application of the former would risk considerable state fragmentation; an unconditional acceptance of the latter would condemn stateless nations to a subordinate status. Powerful actors like the United States have attempted to navigate these norms by specifying the conditions under which one norm should take precedence over the other, but such decisions are difficult to make in an international environment that lacks consensus, and the result is an ambiguous international order where conflict is common. I analyze the future of these norms in a Chinese-led international order, explaining why China would champion territorial integrity over self-determination, and why this would be better for territorial stability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Political Science and International Relations
- Sociology and Political Science