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SOAS China Institute

China’s Rise and the Future of Global Governance

Katherine Morton

Katherine Morton

Dr. Katherine Morton

Date: 3 March 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 3 March 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College BuildingsRoom: G50

Type of Event: Seminar

Series: SOAS China Institute Monday Forums

Chaired by Professor Robert Ash


The question of how China is likely to shape the future trajectory of global governance is now of fundamental importance to contemporary debates in international relations. At a time of growing geopolitical anxiety, concerns are rising that China may be seeking to undermine the current Western dominated international order by pursuing its own agenda that is counter to pre-existing liberal norms and practices. While an aggressive revisionist strategy is difficult to identify in practice, it is becoming increasingly clear that China is now playing a more active role in shaping international norms to align with its own interests. This lecture will first consider some fundamental questions concerning the future potential of global governance, and then investigate China’s practical and normative engagement across the economic development and security realms, paying particular attention to evolving norms relating to food security and the maritime commons. A strong Chinese preference for ‘learning by doing’ rather than ‘learning by principle’ is evident in both realms and presents a constraint upon Beijing’s willingness to conform to binding obligations. This does not necessarily mean, however, that China is intent on subverting liberal order.

Speaker's Biography

Dr Katherine Morton is currently the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Asia and the Pacific. She is a specialist on China and International Relations with a particular focus on non-traditional security and global governance. She is currently involved in two major collaborative research projects on ‘China and the Global Governance of Food Security’ with Indiana University and on ‘Climate Change and Water Security across the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau’ with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She has also recently completed a Ford Foundation funded collaborative research project on Sino-Australian security relations. Her recent publications include ‘China and the Future of International Norms’ Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 22 June 2011, Climate Change and Security at the Third Pole', Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, 53(1) February-March 2011, and  ‘China and the Global Environment: Learning from the Past, Anticipating the Future’, Lowy Institute Paper 2009. Dr Morton was a Senior Associate Member of St Antony's College, Oxford University, from August 2008 until July 2009.

Organiser: SOAS China Institute

Contact email: sci@soas.ac.uk

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4894