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The social dimension of the EU-China relationship: a normative and pragmatic European approach?

Hang Yuan (UGent) and Jan Orbie (UGent)
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Abstract
Recent decades have seen an expansion in EU-China relations. While this phenomenon has been examined extensively in the existing literature, bilateral interactions in the social field remain largely unexplained. This article investigates the evolution of the social dimension inEU-China relations and finds that social issues receive little attention until the mid-1990s, butincrease in importance thereafter.To explore this phenomenon, we found both explanatory powerand limits in the ‘normative power Europe’ versus the ‘pragmatic power Europe’ perspectives.Pragmatic concerns help to explain why social issues have become more closely linked to economic than to political ties. Yet they fail to account for the EU’s relatively successful export of social security norms to China. The European Union’s (EU’s) normative power could be enhanced rather than inevitably threatened by China’s rapid development. Analysing the social dimension also throws light on the complexity of the EU-China relationship; a complexity that is largely ignored by existing observations.
Keywords
social dimension, normative power Europe, policy learning, EU-China relations

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MLA
Yuan, Hang, and Jan Orbie. “The Social Dimension of the EU-China Relationship: A Normative and Pragmatic European Approach?” EUROPEAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REVIEW, vol. 20, no. 3, 2015, pp. 337–55.
APA
Yuan, H., & Orbie, J. (2015). The social dimension of the EU-China relationship: a normative and pragmatic European approach? EUROPEAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REVIEW, 20(3), 337–355.
Chicago author-date
Yuan, Hang, and Jan Orbie. 2015. “The Social Dimension of the EU-China Relationship: A Normative and Pragmatic European Approach?” EUROPEAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REVIEW 20 (3): 337–55.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Yuan, Hang, and Jan Orbie. 2015. “The Social Dimension of the EU-China Relationship: A Normative and Pragmatic European Approach?” EUROPEAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REVIEW 20 (3): 337–355.
Vancouver
1.
Yuan H, Orbie J. The social dimension of the EU-China relationship: a normative and pragmatic European approach? EUROPEAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REVIEW. 2015;20(3):337–55.
IEEE
[1]
H. Yuan and J. Orbie, “The social dimension of the EU-China relationship: a normative and pragmatic European approach?,” EUROPEAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REVIEW, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 337–355, 2015.
@article{7005693,
  abstract     = {{Recent decades have seen an expansion in EU-China relations. While this phenomenon has been examined extensively in the existing literature, bilateral interactions in the social field remain largely unexplained. This article investigates the evolution of the social dimension inEU-China relations and finds that social issues receive little attention until the mid-1990s, butincrease in importance thereafter.To explore this phenomenon, we found both explanatory powerand limits in the ‘normative power Europe’ versus the ‘pragmatic power Europe’ perspectives.Pragmatic concerns help to explain why social issues have become more closely linked to economic
than to political ties. Yet they fail to account for the EU’s relatively successful export of social security norms to China. The European Union’s (EU’s) normative power could be enhanced rather than inevitably threatened by China’s rapid development. Analysing the social dimension
also throws light on the complexity of the EU-China relationship; a complexity that is largely ignored by existing observations.}},
  author       = {{Yuan, Hang and Orbie, Jan}},
  issn         = {{1384-6299}},
  journal      = {{EUROPEAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REVIEW}},
  keywords     = {{social dimension,normative power Europe,policy learning,EU-China relations}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{3}},
  pages        = {{337--355}},
  title        = {{The social dimension of the EU-China relationship: a normative and pragmatic European approach?}},
  volume       = {{20}},
  year         = {{2015}},
}