Professor Gregory Chin to deliver talk on bridging Western and Chinese civilizations

York University Professor Gregory Chin will deliver a lecture on March 1 on “Bridging Western and Chinese Civilizations for Global Governance.”

Gregory Chin
Gregory Chin

Hosted by The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the lecture will run from 10 to 11 a.m. on Zoom and examine the concept of “supra-intersubjective understandings” between civilizations – a concept presented by Robert W. Cox as he challenged Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” narrative. Huntington argues for a focus on inter-civilizational dialogue instead of “clash;” however, Cox aimed to recast global governance, and future world order, toward a more multi-polar and multilateral world, based on shared norms between civilizations.

The core of the research agenda is on identifying shared inter-civilizational norms, values and principles, while also accounting for, and managing sources of conflict between civilizations and nations. The roots of Cox’s thesis on civilizations was a research program on multilateralism and the United Nations system (MUNS), sponsored by the United Nations University (UNU), that ran from 1991-95. The program took a broad view of multilateralism, and asked what entities – states and other – would constitute the multilateralism of the future. The MUNS program aimed to foster a “new,” more inclusive and diverse multilateralism.

In this presentation, Chin will examine Cox’s concept of “supra-intersubjective understandings” between civilizations as the building blocks for a more multi-polar and multilateral world order, and foundational base for a more negotiated system of global governance between Western and Chinese civilizations.

Chin has been researching China, Asia, international and comparative political economy, and global governance since the early 1990s. He has been a professor at York University since 2007, and has published widely on the political economy of China and Asia, the BRICS, global monetary and financial affairs, and global governance. He was co-editor of Review of International Political Economy (RIPE) from 2012-15, and he is a member of the Advisory Board of RIPE and the Editorial Board of Global Governance journal. In September 2020, Chin was appointed an advisor to the Research Program of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation.