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The Policy Analyst and Historical Perspectives: Notes of a Practitioner

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image of Journal of American-East Asian Relations

In these remarks I offer some tentative observations based largely on my experience as a policy analyst on China security-related issues for nearly twenty years, at RAND and now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. My focus during this time has been mainly on national security and military/defense issues, but also has included attempts to interpret the impact of both domestic and external factors on Chinese foreign/defense policies and military-security behavior. This has included analysis of the impact of domestic change on the People's Republic of China's (PRC) foreign policy and of Chinese grand strategy from a historical perspective. My uses of theory and of history, both premodern and modern, have been largely as needed to support my analysis of Chinese perceptions and motivations in the security arena. What I am most familiar with is the way in which policy analysts and policy practitioners look at China, including their use (or non-use) of studies from history and political science.


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