The Human Community of Fate: A Conceptual History of China’s Ordoglobal Idea

Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 13, no. 3 (Forthcoming 2022)

24 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2022

See all articles by Ryan Mitchell

Ryan Mitchell

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 14, 2022

Abstract

Advocacy of a “human community of fate” (人类命运共同体) has become the most important new Chinese foreign relations principle since the 1950s. Since the beginning of Xi Jinping’s tenure as Chinese Communist Party chief in 2012, the term has become increasingly synonymous with various dimensions of China’s positions on political economy, international law, and world order. Explicitly tied to major ventures such as the Belt and Road Initiative and institutions including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the concept was added to the PRC Constitution in 2018 and has also been endorsed in PRC-backed resolutions at UN organs and in other important global forums. This Article traces the concept’s unexpected genealogy from the late 19th – early 20th century trope of Schicksalsgemeinschaft (“community of fate”), through its varying uses in corporatist as well as ordoliberal discourse in Europe and East Asia, and close association with recent trends of technocratic economic integration. As Beijing’s aims after 2008 coalesced around “orderly” market liberalization accompanied by total insulation from all democratic pressures, the human community of fate has come to embody both goals, along with the only modestly revised global system that would best facilitate their realization.

Keywords: International order, international law, development, neoliberalism, ordoliberalism, China

JEL Classification: B24, B25

Suggested Citation

Mitchell, Ryan, The Human Community of Fate: A Conceptual History of China’s Ordoglobal Idea (February 14, 2022). Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 13, no. 3 (Forthcoming 2022), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4034360 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4034360

Ryan Mitchell (Contact Author)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law ( email )

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Hong Kong, Sha Tin
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