Commerce and coercion
When responding to disputes with foreign powers, China does not speak with one voice, political science doctoral candidate Kacie Miura finds.
"Major anti-Japanese protests erupted throughout China," she recalls. "It was the first time I was confronted with the history between these nations, and it made me quite interested in the role of nationalism in politics."
— Kacie Miura, doctoral candidate in Political Science
Growing up on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kacie Miura says she felt removed from issues roiling the mainland U.S. and the rest of the world. "We were insulated in our own bubble and I wasn't that interested in domestic or international politics," says the fifth-year doctoral candidate. But while serving a two-year Peace Corps mission in China, Miura's view of the world changed dramatically.
In 2010, she was stationed in Chongqing, teaching English to rural teachers and to students of Yangtze Normal University, when tensions flared around the arrest by Japan of a Chinese fishing boat captain.
Gripped by this drama, Miura decided to return to academics and study the role and impact of nationalist sentiment in Chinese foreign policy. Today, she is in the midst of writing a dissertation that offers fresh insights on the way economic factors and domestic politics, especially at the local government level, shape China's international relations.