chapter  9
An accidental (Chinese) International Relations theorist
ByQin Yaqing, with David L. Blaney and Arlene B. Tickner
Pages 18

Qin Yaqing is one of China’s pre-eminent scholars of International Relations (IR). He may be best known in North America and Europe for his essay, “Why is there no Chinese International Relations Theory?” (Qin 2007), where he explores the state of Chinese IR and explains his ambivalence about the idea of national schools of IR (see also Creutzfeldt 2011). Dr Qin agreed to be interviewed about his path to International Relations Theory (IRT). His responses to 16 questions ran to nearly 13,000 words. We have reorganized his answers somewhat, edited for idiom and word count, and provided a few framing comments at the outset of each section. We appreciate the time and care he put into his responses. Qin has spent the last decade or so rethinking his intellectual training in

the United States via an engagement with China’s philosophical tradition, historical studies of the Chinese international system, and sociological and psychological studies of processes and relations. He is working to systematize a processual constructivism that has partial roots in Chinese thought and culture but also contributes to global IRT. He hopes his efforts will help inspire other scholars from China to think of their work as contributions to a global conversation about how politics works and how it should work.