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Reviews 99 in the matter of confrontation between Chinese and Western cultures and are at greater advantage to help people in China and the West understand each other. Chenshan Tian University of Hawai'i at Mänoa Chenshan Tian is a doctoral candidate in the Department ofPolitical Science, specializing in comparative Western and Chinesepoliticalphilosophy. N OTE S 1. Zhang Longxi, "Western Theory and Chinese Reality," Critical Inquiry 19 (1992): 127. 2. This is reflected in the discussion ofthe notion ofcorrelative thinking, which can be traced to Marcel Granet, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Joseph Needham, Tang Junyi, and Angus Graham , and is continued in the work ofDavid Hall and Roger T. Ames. Tun-jen Cheng, Chi Huang, and Samuel S. G. Wu, editors. Inherited Rivalry : Conflict across the Taiwan Straits. Boulder, Colorado: Lynn Reiner Publishers, 1995. x, 277 pp. Hardcover, isbn 1-55587-534-3. Paperback $25.00, isbn 1-55587-551-3. Inherited Rivalry: ConflictAaoss the Taiwan Straits is a collection of essays based on a conference project funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. The idea ofthe conference's organizers and the book's editors was to raise the level ofdiscussion ofthe cross-straits relationship by applying a variety of analytical frameworks to its study. The authors ofthis volume frame their arguments in a range oftheories including the rational choice, elite conflict, and asymmetric political process approaches. The volume's stated goal is to contribute to the reader's substantive understanding ofthe international relations of the Asia-Pacific region and to contribute to a variety oftheoretical discussions in the field ofpolitical science. In his introductory chapter, editor Tun-jen Cheng leads offwith the assertion that what he calls the Taiwan-Mainland dyad "provides an excellent laboratory in which to refine our theoretical thinking on power and complex interdependence ," adding that "Understanding how Taiwan, as a small country, manages economic interaction with its formidable adversary, China, without jeopardizing© 1997 by University its national security, can shed light on the nature ofother asymmetric dyads, such ofHawai'i Pressas those involving Sri Lanka and India, Israel andArab countries, and indeed Cuba and the United States" (p. 4). The book's other two editors, Samuel S. G. Wu and Chi Huang, argue in their concluding chapter that the three common threads of loo China Review International: Vol. 4, No. ?, Spring 1997 the essays here—size factor, political economy, and linkage politics^—are "the most frequently touched upon and debated topics in the field ofinternational relations ," and that "Therefore, the lessons we learn from this exercise may have both theoretical and methodological implications for the field in general" (p. 214). Those fascinated by Lee Teng-hui's diplomatic attempts to raise the importance ofTaiwan's international stature may well be interested in what really amounts here to parallel academic attempts to argue for Taiwan's importance to the theoretical literature. How successful the academic arguments are, however, is debatable. One could conclude, for example, that the last chapter's argument is a circular one: the themes the authors cite dominate the book more likely because they dominate the field that the authors want so much to be a part of. Although the book may convince others in the field that the Taiwan case fits their theoretical constructs, there is little to suggest that these theories are advanced or refined by including Taiwan in the database. Thus, while conference volumes most often suffer from a lack of common focus among the contributing authors, this book ifanything goes to the opposite extreme. Most ofwhat is presented here is not new to those who study China and Taiwan, who otherwise would have been an important part ofthe book's audience . (The one scholar I found with an interest in Taiwan who had seen the book told me that his eyes started to glaze over at the algebraic formulations that are the centerpieces ofso many ofthe volume's chapters and that he soon gave up.) The general reader will find the going harder still. Hence it is likely that only those interested in the theoretical discussions will find this volume particularly enlightening, and even that is uncertain. This perhaps overly harsh-sounding description is not meant to dismiss...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 99-101
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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