Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

The Chinese diaspora, race and US foreign policy

The project focusses on how US views of the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia influenced its strategic interpretations of the region. Being eleven million strong, dispersed across the region and sharing ethnic ties with Communist China, interpretations of the diaspora intersected with key Cold War themes in the region, such as domino theory and strategic containment. By analyzing the relation between racial perceptions and US behavior abroad, the research explores the dynamic, conflicting and often counterproductive ways through which race influenced US foreign policy during the Cold War era. The project thereby contributes to our understanding how illiberal characteristics underpinned US behavior abroad amidst the construction and establishment of the ‘liberal international order’ during the Cold War.

2023 - 2027
Martijn van Ette
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