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PhD Dissertation (Final Stage) 

Alvin Yang's dissertation focuses on the nexus of emerging Chinese International Relations (IR) theories, Global IR and the global knowledge economy. It situates in and contributes to the theoretical discourses and research programs of global IR, global political economy and sociology of science. 

This dissertation begins by exploring and identifying emerging IR theories around the world. It especially focuses on China because it is one of the most dynamic places where new IR theories are rapidly developing. 

After identifying these theories, I then ask some fundamental questions. What are the underlying epistemological, ontological, methodological and historical assumptions of these emerging Chinese IR theories? How do these assumptions inform and shape Chinese IR theories to conceptualize, theorize and explain the current global order, power transition, hegemony and the role of the state? In what ways do they converge or diverge from both Western mainstream and critical IR theories?

Importantly, I try to map out the knowledge innovation, production and dissemination of these Chinese IR theories, focusing on the Chinese IR construction period, from 2000 to the present. I ascertain what are the key driving forces that have shaped the development of Chinese IR. I also examine the key sites of Chinese IR knowledge innovation, production and dissemination as well as how they are positioned on the global knowledge value chain.  


My theoretical framework draws and further develops from Tang Shiping's social evolution paradigm. This research stresses a trans-disciplinary approach by drawing variables, concepts and insights not only from IR/IPE but also from other disciplines such as developmental economics, area studies, critical globalization studies, anthropology, conceptual history and philosophy of science. Methodologically, it uses both quantitative and qualitative methods.

I follow the traditional path to a PhD degree in Germany, which is the most common in Germany and differs from the path in English-speaking countries. It is based on independent research carried out alone under the supervision of one professor. For more information on how to get a PhD via the traditional or individual path in Germany, check here


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