Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Suisheng Zhao, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Haider A. Khan

Third Advisor

Paul Viotti

Fourth Advisor

Kathy Green


Chinese foreign policy, Chinese intellectuals, Intellectual-state relations, Nationalism, Sino-Japanese relations


This dissertation aims at integrating two scholarships: state-society relation studies and Chinese foreign policy analysis. I created Two-level Perception Gap Model to analyze different intellectual groups' relations with party-state by confirming Chinese intellectuals play a role in CFP making in general, China's Japan policy in particular. This model is an alternative approach, instead of conventional wisdom patron-client approach, to explain and analyze the pluralized intellectual-state relations in China. This model first analyzed the role of two intellectual groups, namely think tank scholars and popular nationalist, in China's Japan policy making, and then based on these analyses it explains the interactional patterns between these two intellectual groups and party-state. I used three case studies, which represented different types of issue, Chinese attitude toward the U.S.-Japan alliance and the Japanese defense policy, the controversy over the Yasukuni Shrine Visit, and the territorial dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, to examine this model.

First, I examined think tank scholar groups and the extent they influenced "core interest issue and sensitive issue (Issue 1)," Chinese attitude toward the U.S.-Japan alliance and the Japanese defense policy, and their international patterns with party-state. Chapter 3 compares the responses of Chinese officials to the changes in the defense policy of Japan to the analyses from the think tank scholars. As the model assumes, results show that think tank scholars' analyses are consistent with China's policy position; nevertheless, it is difficult to confirm their analyses have influence on Chinese attitude toward the U.S.-Japan alliance and the Japanese defense policy. Based on the analysis of journal articles, most articles do not provide policy suggestions or simply provide suggestions that do not deviate from the policy. As Gu's theory of pluralist institutionalism and my hypothesis points out, most think tank scholars are establishment intellectuals so they tend to be self-disciplined.

Second, this model provide a new concept "patriotic dilemma" for analyzing the challenge and constraints brought by popular nationalist discourses and public mobilization to Chinese foreign policy decision makers. Chapter 4 investigated the cases study of the controversy over the Yasukuni Shrine Visit, defined as "major/minor interest issue/ sensitive issue (Issue 3)," and the discourses from the popular nationalist, mainly focusing on anti-Japanese activists. The chapter also observes their influence on nationalist public opinions and analyzes how the nationalist public opinions constrain the policy choices among decision makers. Results strongly supported the hypothesis of patriotic dilemma that, although the popular nationalist group and public opinions constrained the policy choices of Chinese decision makers in the short term, they were unable to change the fundamental policy direction. Third, chapter 5 also focuses on anti-Japanese activists and examines the model with the case of the territorial dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. The result supported that hypothesis that China's policy change was not because of the influence from popular nationalist's discourses or public opinions but because of the change of priority of this issue, from major/minor interest issue to core interest issue. These two chapters also indicate that the patron-client model is unable to describe the popular nationalist. An alternative approach, such as the concept "patriotic dilemma" is needed to describe the relations between the popular nationalist and the government.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Wenting Yang


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

312 p.


International Relations, Political Science, Asian Studies