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Chinese strategic culture : origin, organization, operationalization and evolution of the people's war doctrine

Miracola, Sergio (2018) Chinese strategic culture : origin, organization, operationalization and evolution of the people's war doctrine. Advisor: Bruni, Prof. Domenico Maria. Coadvisor: Fiori, Prof. Antonio . pp. 601. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Abstract

Why has it become so difficult to understand and eventually predict Chinese foreign policy strategy at the military level? In Strategic Studies, and especially in Political Science, experts emphasize the employment of rationality in states‟ foreign policy formulation. However, the international relations reality proves to be, very often, quite different than predicted. In this scientific uncertainty, strategic culture paradigm provides a more comprehensive understanding of states‟ strategic behavior in foreign policy. However, when it comes to China, the current literature on Chinese strategic culture has been adopting a dichotomous approach; that is, trying to demonstrate whether offensiveness or defensiveness constitute the fundamental nature of the Chinese strategic culture. My research goes beyond this debate by looking specifically at the Chinese military strategy per se and, specifically, which strategy really connects to – and therefore defines – the overall Chinese strategic culture. Hence, my research demonstrates how People‟s War doctrine represents a fundamental asset of Chinese strategic culture. To prove this, I will use a three-level analysis which looks at the civil-military relations, strategic design, and tactical dispositions. Moreover, in order to better classify the centrality of people‟s war in Chinese strategic culture, I will provide an extensive historical analysis of the doctrine through four major case studies: the first one deals with the doctrinal formulation occurred during the Warring States period, where ancient strategists started to assemble the embryonic doctrines of what today can be called asymmetric warfare, by looking at the implementation of flexibility and mobility. The second process analyzes the Tang dynasty, which represented an important turning point in Chinese history, paving the way for the creation of the Chinese modern era. The third case study deals with the Maoist Civil War, where people‟s war found its comprehensive definition and application. In conclusion, the last dimension analyzes the evolution of people‟s war doctrine, during the advent of the fifth generation of leadership. This last case study represents an important historical asset because of the radical Chinese military transformation occurring in the last ten years coupled with the international technological developments. During this period, in fact, it becomes central to identify the development of Chinese cyber warfare techniques and the establishment of maritime militia which, I will argue, represent, both doctrinally and technically, an evolution of the people's war doctrine.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: rationality, strategic culture, people’s war doctrine, Chinese foreign policy, asymmetric warfare, cyber warfare, mobility, flexibility maritime militia, nationalism.
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
PhD Course: Political History
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/249
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2018 13:16
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/249

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