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  • 1.
    Berenskötter, Felix
    et al.
    Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS University of London, United Kingdom, (GBR).
    Nymalm, Nicola
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Tactical Warfare Division, Air Operations Section.
    States of ambivalence: Recovering the concept of ‘the Stranger’ in International Relations2021In: Review of International Studies, ISSN 0260-2105, E-ISSN 1469-9044, Vol. 47, no 1, p. 19-38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article revisits and revives the concept of ‘the Stranger’ in theorising international relations by discussing how this figure appears and what role it plays in the politics of (collective) identity. It shows that this concept is central to poststructuralist logic discussing the political production of discourses of danger and to scholarship on ontological security but remains subdued in their analytical narratives. Making the concept of the Stranger explicit is important, we argue, because it directs attention to ambivalence as a source of anxiety and grasps the unsettling experiences that political strategies of conquest or conversion, including practices of securitisation, respond to. Against this backdrop, the article provides a nuanced reading of the Stanger as a form of otherness that captures ambiguity as a threat to modern conceptions of identity, and outlines three scenarios of how it may be encountered in interstate relations: the phenomenon of ‘rising powers’ from the perspective of the hegemon, the dissolution of enmity (overcoming an antagonistic relationship), and the dissolution of friendship (close allies drifting apart). Aware that recovering the concept is not simply an academic exercise but may feed into how the term is used in political discourse and how practitioners deal with ‘strange encounters’, we conclude by pointing to alternative readings of the Stranger/strangeness and the value of doing so.

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  • 2.
    Bohman, Viking
    et al.
    Utrikespolitiska Institutet, Stockholm, (SWE).
    Nymalm, Nicola
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Tactical Warfare Division, Air Operations Section.
    Kinesiska investeringar i Sverige: från framgång till fara?2020In: Internasjonal Politikk, ISSN 0020-577X, E-ISSN 1891-1757, Vol. 78, no 1, p. 93-105Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    China’s direct investment in Sweden surged in 2017 and 2018 due to a number of large acquisitions, mostly in the automotive industry. At the same time, the public debate on Chinese investments has become more critical since 2017, when they were typically seen in a positive light. Throughout 2018 and 2019, a number of actors in government authorities, political parties, the media and civil society have described China’s investments as a potential security threat. Although less prominent in the public debate, business representatives have also become increasingly vocal about potential security risks associated with Chinese investment. The Swedish view of China seems to be aligning with what the EU has called its new “more realistic” approach to Beijing. Meanwhile, a number of policy processes have been launched which are likely to lead to the strengthening of existing legal frameworks to scrutinise Chinese investment and activity in Sweden, especially concerning critical infrastructure such as telecommunications networks, but also more generally concerning companies whose activities are regarded as sensitive from a security perspective.

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  • 3.
    Nymalm, Nicola
    Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History, Air Operations Division.
    China's rise and rethinking International Relations theory: Edited by Chengxin Pan and Emilian Kavalski, Bristol University Press, 20222022In: International Affairs, ISSN 0020-5850, E-ISSN 1468-2346, Vol. 98, no 5, p. 1785-1786Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Nymalm, Nicola
    Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History, Air Operations Division.
    Contesting Revisionism: China, the United States, and the Transformation of International Order. By Steve Chan, Huiyun Feng, Kai He, and Weixing Hu, Oxford University Press, 20212022In: Perspectives on Politics, ISSN 1537-5927, E-ISSN 1541-0986, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 1153-1155Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Nymalm, Nicola
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Tactical Warfare Division, Air Operations Section.
    From 'Japan Problem' to 'China Threat'?: Rising Powers in US Economic Discourse2020 (ed. 1)Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This book has four main objectives: to bring the thus far almost entirely neglected historical case of ‘the rise of Japan’ into the literature on power shifts in general and ‘the rise of China’ in particular; to propose a discourse-based conceptualization of identity for the study of economic policy that engages theoretical and methodological debates on how to overcome the dichotomy between ‘ideational’ (identity) and ‘material’ (economic) factors; to address the tendency to focus on the ‘radical Other’ in poststructuralist IR scholarship, by highlighting how heterogeneity disturbs exclusive and binary articulations of identity and difference; and to propose a method for putting political discourse theory (PDT) into practice in empirical research by drawing on rhetorical political analysis (RPA). US congressional debates on economic policy on Japan and China in 1985–2008 are analysed as examples of official US elite public discourse. The book shows that the ‘new era’ in US-Chinese relations that scholars and policymakers have been announcing since the beginning of the Trump presidency was long in the making, as it rests on longstanding discourses on the USA’s main economic competitor.

  • 6.
    Nymalm, Nicola
    Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History, Air Operations Division.
    Manjari Chatterjee Miller. Why Nations Rise: Narratives and the Path to Great Power. Oxford University Press, 2021: H-Diplo | ISSF Roundtable 14-12022In: H-Diplo - The Robert Jervis International Security Studies Forum (RJISSF)Article, book review (Other academic)
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  • 7.
    Nymalm, Nicola
    Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History, Air Operations Division.
    Pacific power paradox: American statecraft and the fate of the Asian peace2023In: International Affairs, ISSN 0020-5850, E-ISSN 1468-2346, Vol. 99, no 5, p. 2193-2194Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Nymalm, Nicola
    The Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm, Sweden.
    The Economics of Identity: is China the new ‘Japan Problem’ for the United States?2019In: Journal of International Relations and Development, ISSN 1408-6980, E-ISSN 1581-1980, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 909-933Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ‘rise of China’ ranks among the most widely addressed contemporary topics in the field of International Relations. The majority of studies focuses on questions of ‘power shifts’ from West to East—in particular from the US to China—commonly premised on assessments of China’s rapid economic growth. However, it is rarely taken into consideration that the last comparable debate was conducted only a few decades ago, when Japan was proclaimed the new ‘Number One’. The neglect is even more remarkable given the striking similarities in the US discourses on first Japan and then China as not only an ‘unfair economic player’, but also a ‘threat’ to US global preeminence. In turn, the similarities seem puzzling given the differences in the bilateral relationship between the US and Japan in the past, and the US and China more recently. This article analyses parallels in these discourses by taking a view that goes beyond the economy as material capabilities and interests common in research on ‘rising powers’. Instead, focusing on the role of identity, it contends that the similarities in articulating Japan and China as threats stem from them not adhering to the US model of liberal democratic capitalism, while being economically successful on their own terms.

  • 9.
    Nymalm, Nicola
    Kiel University, Kiel, Germany; GIGA Institute of Asian Studies, Hamburg, Germany.
    The end of the 'liberal theory of history'?: Dissecting the US Congress' discourse on China's currency policy2013In: International Political Sociology, ISSN 1749-5679, E-ISSN 1749-5687, Vol. 7, no 4, p. 388-405Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Over the last 10 years, economic issues related to currency policy have become the major ongoing dispute between China and the United States. Specifically, the US Congress has demanded a tougher policy to avert the negative consequences of “unfair” Chinese policies—in the form of a “manipulated currency”—for the US economy. Building on an analytical framework of discourse theory (DT)—and proposing a method for applying DT in empirical research—an investigation into congressional debates on the Chinese currency shows that the question is not a purely economic one, but rather that it reflects a dislocation of US identity as the vanguard of liberal-democratic capitalism. This dislocation involves changes to how “liberal” identity in the US Congress is articulated in relation to the role attributed to “illiberal” China, which in turn affects the formulation of US China policy in Congress.

  • 10.
    Nymalm, Nicola
    et al.
    The Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Sweden.
    Plagemann, Johannes
    GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, Germany.
    Comparative Exceptionalism: Universality and Particularity in Foreign Policy Discourses2019In: International Studies Review, ISSN 1521-9488, E-ISSN 1468-2486, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 12-37Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Existing research on exceptionalism in foreign policy suggests a number of confrontational features making it a threat to peaceful international relations. Largely based on US and European cases, and hardly ever taking a comparative approach, this literature overlooks a variety of exceptionalisms in non-Western countries, including so called “rising powers” such as China and India. A comparison between exceptionalist foreign policy discourses of the United States, China, India, and Turkey shows that exceptionalism is neither exclusive to the United States, nor a “new” phenomenon within rising powers, nor necessarily confrontational, unilateralist, or exemptionalist. As a prerequisite for comparative work, we establish two features common to all exceptionalist foreign policy discourses. In essence, such discourses are informed by supposedly universal values derived from a particular civilization heritage or political history. In order to systematize different versions of exceptionalism, we then propose four ideal types, each of which reflects exceptionalism's common trait of a claim to moral superiority and uniqueness but diverges across other important dimensions, with implications for its potentially offensive character. The article concludes by formulating a research agenda for future comparative work on exceptionalist foreign policy discourses and their repercussions for great power relations and global politics.

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  • 11.
    Turner, Oliver
    et al.
    University of Edinburgh, UK.
    Nymalm, Nicola
    Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm.
    Morality and Progress: IR narratives on international revisionism and the status quo2019In: Cambridge Review of International Affairs, ISSN 0955-7571, E-ISSN 1474-449X, Vol. 32, no 4, p. 407-428Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Scholars debate the ambitions and policies of today’s ‘rising powers’ and the extent to which they are revising or upholding the international status quo. While elements of the relevant literature provide valuable insight, this article argues that the concepts of revisionism and the status quo within mainstream International Relations (IR) have always constituted deeply rooted, autobiographical narratives of a traditionally Western-dominated discipline. As ‘ordering narratives’ of morality and progress, they constrain and organize debate so that revisionism is typically conceived not merely as disruption, but as disruption from the non-West amidst a fundamentally moral Western order that represents civilizational progress. This often makes them inherently problematic and unreliable descriptors of the actors and behaviours they are designed to explain. After exploring the formations and development of these concepts throughout the IR tradition, the analysis is directed towards narratives around the contemporary ‘rise’ of China. Both scholarly and wider political narratives typically tell the story of revisionist challenges China presents to a US/Western-led status quo, promoting unduly binary divisions between the West and non-West, and tensions and suspicions in the international realm. The aim must be to develop a new language and logic that recognize the contingent, autobiographical nature of ‘revisionist’ and ‘status quo’ actors and behaviours.

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  • 12.
    Turner, Oliver
    et al.
    University of Edinburgh, (GBR).
    Nymalm, Nicola
    Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History.
    Aslam, Wali
    University of Bath, (GBR).
    Introduction2023In: The Routledge Handbook of US Foreign Policy in the Indo-Pacific, Routledge, 2023, p. 1-4Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 13.
    Turner, Oliver
    et al.
    University of Edinburgh, (GBR).
    Nymalm, NicolaSwedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History.Aslam, WaliUniversity of Bath, (GBR).
    The Routledge Handbook of US Foreign Policy in the Indo-Pacific2023Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This handbook provides a comprehensive survey of US foreign policy throughout the Indo-Pacific. Home to around 60 percent of the world’s population; most of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies; around half of the world’s states with full nuclear capabilities; and a complicated web of unresolved tensions, disputes, and conflicts, the Indo-Pacific is arguably the most diverse, dynamic, and contested region on Earth. US strategy there has evolved over centuries, with its physical presence going broadly unchallenged since at least the middle of the last century. However, the rapid development and expanding influence of China – alongside the growth of India, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and others – as well as political and economic crises and disruptions within the United States itself, mean that in recent times the US has come to occupy a newly uncertain position and perceive a range of highly unfamiliar challenges.

    To explore how the US has managed, and continues to manage, its regional history, and how it approaches the modern-day landscape of an Indo-Pacific only recently normalised within international political discourse, the book contains 33 newly commissioned chapters from leading experts in the field. It does so partly with help from the more traditional realms of International Relations theory as well as more critical realms. It also unpacks US policy and strategy as it pertains to regional governments, states, and multilateral institutions, as well as to pressing issues including inter-state security, human rights, trade, artificial intelligence, and cyber strategy. It does so in four parts:

    History of the US in the Indo-PacificTheorising US Policy and Presence in the Indo-PacificThe US and Indo-Pacific States and InstitutionsThe US and Indo-Pacific IssuesThe book is designed to be of interest to students and scholars of the US in the Indo-/Asia Pacific; the international relations of the Indo-/Asia Pacific; and US foreign policy.

1 - 13 of 13
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