ie.talks: What is ‘National Resilience’ in International Relations? A Case Study of China’s Practice in Globalization

Lecture and Discussion with Chenhui Xiao (Jilin University) as part of the ie.talks – Public Lecture Series of the Department of Development Studies

Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Time: 4:15 - 5:45 p.m.

Location: Seminarraum SG 2, Sensengasse 3, 1090 Wien

Chair: Cornelia Staritz (University of Vienna)

Hybrid participation via zoom possible. Please register until Nov 29, 4 p.m. at:[a]


In the face of multiple global crises and interdependencies, the concept of ‘National Resilience’ has gained increased attention in recent years in international relations to understand how states define and respond to global risks. Based on a systematic review of the existing studies on national resilience in the field of international relations, this redefines the basic connotation of national resilience in international relations, analyzes the applicable structure of national resilience, and takes China's role in the global political and economic order as a case study. It then seeks to reconstruct and explain the shifting narratives on ‘national resilience’ by the Chinese government during three distinct stages. First, from 1978 to the late 1990s, China actively promoted globalization with a focus on domestic reform and opening up. After joining the World Trade Organisation in 2001, China's ability to cope with the risks of integration into the international community came to the fore. More recently, since 2012, the emphasis has shifted back towards shaping or even creating new global institutions.

Chenhui Xiao is a visiting PhD candidate from Jilin University, China, currently based at the Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna