European & American Think Tanks and the Reality of US-China Trade War: An NPF Application

Journal of Social and Political

Sciences

ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)

Published: 30 April 2020

European & American Think Tanks and the Reality of US-China Trade War: An NPF Application

Su Jiangli

Shanxi University, China

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10.31014/aior.1991.03.02.176

Pages: 375-388

Keywords: Narrative Policy Framework, Think Tanks, Trade War, Tariff, Multilateral Rule-Based System

Abstract

NPF probes into a policy narrative and answers questions about who are the heroes, villains and victims? How does the narrative deploy plot, causal mechanisms and symbolic languages to register meaning and reflect policy realities? Applying NPF to explore four Western European and American think tanks’ narratives about US-China trade war in 2018, this study aims to construct the reality of this trade war through making comparison of the different narrative elements, strategies and underlying belief systems used in their narratives. This study finds that their divergent casting of heroes and victims, their differences in the employment of plot, causal mechanism and symbolic languages reflect the divergence of their economic and diplomatic interests, as well as different interpretations of the nature of this trade war. This study also shows think tanks’ narratives are valuable policy inputs and desirable to conduct NPF analysis.

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