A Place in the Stars: Status and Security in China’s Quest for Space Power

A growing body of scholarship contends that concerns over position or status act as a powerful motive in world politics. Yet, although considerable scholarship indicates that status matters, much less is known about where these status concerns come from and how they matter. This project seeks to answer these questions by examining longitudinal variation in China’s space program. In doing so, this project advances a new theoretical argument focusing on domestic legitimation strategies as a source of status concerns. It examines and tests this explanation against competing arguments focusing on commercial and security-seeking motives. In making these inferences about longitudinal variation in Chinese space ambitions, this project employs a mixed methods approach utilizing data from elite interviews, text analysis, and surveys.

Works in Progress

"Seeking Status on the Dark Side of the Moon: Experimental Evidence from China and the United States."

"China’s Quest for Space Power: Sources and Prospects for U.S.-China Relations."

"Collapse of the 'Peking' Order: Status, Domestic Mobilization and the Politics of Recognition in Late Imperial China."

"Nationalism and Nativism: Varieties of Other in China" (with Jessica Chen Weiss and Jeremy Wallace).