Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
James Cuffe
Good Life’ and Development
Ascendant China and reimagining The Good Life on the world stage
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
Thinking about the international arena and the kind of 'actors' we find on this stage, (particularly in light of an ascendant China), this working paper seeks to re-examine the units of analysis for international relations, querying their colonial and European associations, to explore alternative modes by which we might examine who and what 'actors' might be conceived as, to include forays into Confucianism, theories of technology (e.g. ANT), conceptions of the 'good life', and, conceptions of governance. The ambition is an effort to reformulate a means to address global and individual experiences that articulate more inclusively the forces that impact on human experiences. Companies such as Meta, Alphabet, Douban, have as great an impact on life as do nation-state actors and trans-national polities such as the World Bank, the WTO and the E.U. and similarly there is an increasing need to account for learning algorithms and automation as forces that act on society and on the individual human. In this way, the paper seeks to address workshop questions around happiness and wellbeing against the backdrop of entanglements the contemporary world offers and its disconnected concepts and theories. While the paper focuses ethnographically on China, the subject of the paper pertains to how we might reimagine what constitutes 'actors' and their ambitions or ideas of the good life and as such carries resonance beyond China, whether or not subscribing to the ascendant China hypothesis.