This chapter argues that the 'academic' discourses are inexorably bound up with the preferences and interests of the Chinese government, and underpinned by mainstream academic thinking on security. A critical anatomy of the discourse of multipolarity and the nontraditional security discourse illustrates that discourses of security in China remain a fertile ground of dispute and confusion. It also illustrates that there is a clear deficit of Chinese scholarly engagement with critical security studies. The end of the Cold War and the opening of China's scholarly engagement with global international relations scholarship have ironically helped to entrench realism and its dominance in Chinese international relations scholarship. China's enthusiastic embrace of the 'national interest' as central in governing its foreign and security policy-making was meant to signal the changing worldview of a revisionist power and the 'normalization' of a revolutionary state.
This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume, which is about the connection between the United Nations' (UN) evolving approach to intra-state conflicts and the value system of the international community. This study takes issue with the relatively reductionist explanations of what the UN is and how it relates to peace and security. It explores the interest-norm complexes within which the cases in the Congo, Cyprus, Angola, and Cambodia were handled by the UN. This volume shows how relevant actors' normative preferences were resolved in specific peacekeeping environments where the UN was especially active in addressing intra-state conflicts.