Congrats to Bertug Yoruk on his recent MA thesis defence. His thesis is entitled “Another ‘American Exception’? American Order-Building and a Schmittian Analysis of U.S. Foreign Policy vis-à-vis China in the post-Cold War Era and Beyond”, and his supervisor was Sophie Marcotte Chénard.
“My thesis project aims to develop a Schmittian analytical framework to examine the changes in U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis China from the early post-Cold War era to the Trump administration. Through a re-interpretation of specific Schmittian concepts, including the friend-enemy distinction and Großraum, I aim to answer the question of how to explain the U.S.’s threat perceptions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) beginning from the end of the Cold War era and beyond via policy documents and presidential speeches provided by the American Presidency Project. Additionally, I demonstrate how a Schmittian analysis can contribute to explaining the American project of order-building in relation to U.S. foreign policy decisions towards China. The main argument developed throughout is that in spite of Carl Schmitt’s controversial legacy, a re-invigoration of his political and international thought allows us to grasp changes in the U.S. threat perceptions of the PRC from initial engagement to a recognition of China as an existential threat through time that constitutes a state of exception in an exceptional period of history. To demonstrate my claim, I divide my thesis into two main parts: (1) Establishing a Schmittian framework and (2) applying the revised Schmittian concepts to U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis China and American order-building.”