The Chinese View of World Order: The Evolving Conceptualization of Tianxia (All-Under-Heaven)

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Ravagnoli, Violetta
Wang, Fei-Ling
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The topic of this thesis is the Chinese view of world order centered on the concept of Tianxia ( and #22825; and #19979; all-under-heaven). After an historical excursus on the origin of the Chinese imperial sociopolitical and philosophical system, the thesis explores the main characteristics of the early empires. Afterwards, the thesis attempts a comparison between the ancient Chinese empire and another ancient empire, the Roman Empire. The objective is to dig deeply within the political, administrative and legal roots of both empires, as they are the ancestors of two big civilizations: China and the West. Because of the great influence that these two antique political systems had on the current political arrangements of the two parts of the globe, the comparison should help detect the foundation of the systems and will allow to better understand the differences between them and the peculiarities of Chinas view of world order. Furthermore, the thesis analyzes the concept of Tianxia in post-1949 China, concentrating on the new applications of the concept, also drawing a comparison between political organization of imperial China in the past and the PRC (Peoples Republic of China) of our time. Lastly, the thesis explores how some scholars in todays China are reexamining, reframing, and re-advocating the ancient concept of Tianxia as Chinas new and alternative view of world order in the post-Cold War world.
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