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Quest for StatusChinese and Russian Foreign Policy$
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Deborah Welch Larson and Alexei Shevchenko

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300236040

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300236040.001.0001

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The Social Creativity of Deng and Gorbachev

The Social Creativity of Deng and Gorbachev

(p.134) 4 The Social Creativity of Deng and Gorbachev
Quest for Status

Deborah Welch Larson

Alexei Shevchenko

Yale University Press

This chapter interprets the reforms by Deng Xiaoping and Mikhail Gorbachev in the context of their efforts to find alternative means to great power status—through social creativity. Deng launched the “reform and opening” policy, developing the economic foundation for China to play a great power role while exercising unparalleled diplomatic flexibility in dealing with some of China's most difficult territorial and sovereignty disputes. Gorbachev abandoned Russia's usual military methods for achieving great power status in favor of promoting a new, idealistic philosophy for a more peaceful and harmonious world—the “New Thinking.” While Gorbachev's ideas enjoyed remarkable success internationally, the failure of his domestic reforms, along with the rise of nationalism, contributed to the breakup of the Soviet Union and an end to the Soviet Union's status as an innovator of new principles for world order.

Keywords:   Deng Xiaoping, Mikhail Gorbachev, great power, power status, social creativity, New Thinking

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