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History Head Start - Option 9

This article was chosen by a member of our Warwick History department, Professor Anne GerritsenLink opens in a new window. Anne's research and teaching interests include material history, food and food cultures in Asia and Europe, theory and methods of history, and gender - and Anne has written a lot of books, chapters, and articles on these subjects! (see a list of some of them here:

This article is focussed on ideas of China and its relation to what is referred to as the 'post-1945 international order'. It also raises some important questions about the role that history has played and how it can be presented for various reasons or motivations.

Rana Mitter - 'China: Revolutionary or Revisionist?'

Access this article here:

  1. This article discusses the ‘post-1945 international order’. What is meant by the ‘post-1945 international order’?
  2. Who are the main protagonists in that international order or system?
  3. The title offers two alternatives: ‘revolutionary’ or ‘revisionist’. What would it look like if China’s role in the international order was revolutionary? And what would a revisionist role look like?
  4. Can you say in your own words what position (or argument) the author puts forward here?
  5. What do China’s attitudes toward sovereignty, its uses of its own modern history, and its appropriation of political language have to do with it?
  6. Why is the war in Ukraine relevant for understanding China’s position in the global world order?
  7. Are you persuaded by the argument put forward by Rana Mitter in this article?

General Information:

Remember: academic journal articles can be difficult and complicated pieces of writing, It may take some time to read through and don’t be surprised if you need to have a few goes at it. This is normal!

To help you, use the list of questions to guide your thinking as you read the article. You should be thinking about what has been written, to assess for yourself whether it makes sense, whether it is backed up with supporting evidence, and whether you agree with it.

Tips for Reading
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