20 Visions of the Future
- William A. Callahan
- May 15, 2013
After celebrating their country’s three decades of fantastic economic success, many Chinese now are asking, “What comes next?” How can China convert its growing economic power into political and cultural influence around the globe?
William A. Callahan's China Dreams gives voice to China’s many different futures by exploring the grand aspirations and deep anxieties of a broad group of public intellectuals. Stepping outside the narrow politics of officials vs. dissidents, Callahan examines what a third group—“citizen intellectuals”—think about China’s future. China Dreams eavesdrops on fascinating conversations between officials, scholars, soldiers, bloggers, novelists, filmmakers and artists to see how they describe China’s different political, strategic, economic, social and cultural futures. Callahan also examines how the P.R.C.’s new generation of twenty- and thirty-somethings is creatively questioning “The China Model” of economic development. The personal stories of these citizen intellectuals illustrate China’s zeitgeist and a complicated mix of hopes and fears about “The Chinese Century,” providing a clearer sense of how the PRC’s dramatic economic and cultural transitions will affect the rest of the world.
China Dreams explores the transnational connections between American and Chinese people, providing a new approach to Sino-American relations. While many assume that 21st century global politics will be a battle of Confucian China vs. the democratic west, Callahan weaves Chinese and American ideals together to describe a new “Chimerican dream.” —Oxford University Press
Watch “China Dreams: The Debate,” William Callahan’s video of academics and artists in and outside China pondering the meaning of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s favorite slogan.
William A. Callahan is Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics. His research examines the interplay of ideas and policy in China and Asia, and considers the overlap of domestic and international politics. He is the author of several books, including China: The Pessoptimist Nation (Oxford, 2010), Contingent States: Greater China and Transnational Relations (Minnesota, 2004), and co-editor of China Orders the World: Normative Soft Power and Foreign Policy (Johns Hopkins, 2011).