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  • Author: G. John Ikenberry, Adam P. Liff
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In the post–Cold War period, scholars have considered the Asia Pacific to be ripe for military competition and conflict. Developments over the past decade have deepened these expectations. Across the region, rising military spending and efforts of various states to bolster their military capabilities appear to have created an increasingly volatile climate, along with potentially vicious cycles of mutual arming and rearming. In this context, claims that China's rapid economic growth and surging military spending are fomenting destabilizing arms races and security dilemmas are widespread. Such claims make for catchy headlines, yet they are rarely subject to rigorous empirical tests. Whether patterns of military competition in the Asia Pacific are in fact attributable to a security dilemma–based logic has important implications for international relations theory and foreign policy. The answer has direct consequences for how leaders can maximize the likelihood that peace and stability will prevail in this economically and strategically vital region. A systematic empirical test derived from influential theoretical scholarship on the security dilemma concept assesses the drivers of bilateral and multilateral frictions and military competition under way in the Asia Pacific. Security dilemma–driven competition appears to be an important contributor, yet the outcome is not structurally determined. Although this military competition could grow significantly in the near future, there are a number of available measures that could help to ameliorate or manage some of its worst aspects.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Sumit Ganguly
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide, Gary Bass convincingly argues that the Nixon administration did little to rein in its ally Pakistan from perpetuating genocide against its own population largely because of Islamabad's vital role in facilitating U.S. diplomatic contact with the People's Republic of China. He also shows how the low strategic significance of South Asia for much of the global community, combined with an inordinate regard for the norm of sovereignty, led to a lack of support for the principle of humanitarian intervention. The Blood Telegram partially affirms the proposition that acts of genocide can stem from the choices of a handful of individuals who are determined to achieve a political goal using all available means.
  • Topic: Genocide
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, South Asia
  • Author: Jon R. Lindsay
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The ubiquity and interconnectedness of computers in global commerce, civil society, and military affairs create crosscutting challenges for policy and conceptual confusion for theory. The challenges and confusion in cybersecurity are particularly acute in the case of China, which has one of the world's fastest growing internet economies and one of its most active cyber operations programs. In 2013 U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon singled out Chinese cyber intrusions as “not solely a national security concern or a concern of the U.S. government,” but also a major problem for firms suffering from “sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies . . . emanating from China on an unprecedented scale.” One U.S. congressman alleged that China has “established cyber war military units and laced the U.S. infrastructure with logic bombs.” He suggested that “America is under attack by digital bombs.” The discourse on China and cybersecurity routinely conflates issues as different as political censorship, unfair competition, assaults on infrastructure, and internet governance, even as all loom large for practical cyber policy. Although they involve similar information technologies, there is little reason to expect different political economic problems to obey the same strategic logic, nor should one necessarily expect China to enjoy relative advantage in all spheres.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Sebastian Rosato
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Can great powers reach confident conclusions about the intentions of their peers? The answer to this question has important implications for U.S. national security policy. According to one popular view, the United States and China are destined to compete unless they can figure out each other's designs. A recent Brookings Institution report warns that although “Beijing and Washington seek to build a constructive partnership for the long run,” they may be headed for trouble given their “mutual distrust of [the other's] long-term intentions.” Similarly, foreign policy experts James Steinberg and Michael O'Hanlon argue that “trust in both capitals...remains scarce, and the possibility of an accidental or even intentional conflict between the United States and China seems to be growing.” Reversing this logic, many analysts believe that U.S.-China relations may improve if the two sides clarify their intentions. Thus the Pentagon's latest strategic guidance document declares that if China wants to “avoid causing friction” in East Asia, then its military growth must be “accompanied by greater clarity of its strategic intentions.” Meanwhile China scholars Andrew Nathan and Andrew Scobell recommend that even as the United States builds up its capabilities and alliances, it should “reassure Beijing that these moves are intended to create a balance of common interests rather than to threaten China.”
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing
  • Author: Yuen Foong Khong
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: One of the early exhibits of the 2010 Shanghai Expo that greeted the visitor was a display of the Chinese living room through time. What made the otherwise prosaic display rise above the ordinary was its point of departure: the year 1978. The 1978 room was dim, dowdy, and equipped with the most basic furniture, reflecting a poor household. The 1988 living room offered visible improvements, while the 1998 living room had many, but not all, of the accoutrements of the middleclass living room. The 2008 living room—whether aspiration or reality—had it all: ambient lighting, leather sofas, and a plasma television screen. The message was clear: China today would prefer not to dwell on the past; the focus needs to be on economic modernization and its payoffs that began with Deng Xiaoping's opening up of China's economy in 1978.
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Alastair Iain Johnston, Xiaoyu Pu, Dingding Chen
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In "How New and Assertive Is China's New Assertiveness?" Iain Johnston argues that China's recent foreign policy is not as assertive as many scholars and pundits contend. Johnston's study is a welcome addition to the literature on Chinese foreign policy in three respects. First, it is the most comprehensive study by a leading China scholar on China's new assertiveness. Second, it challenges the conventional understanding that this assertiveness is both unprecedented and aggressive by design. Third, it addresses potential problems of overestimating the threat from China.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Etel Solingen
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The sources of World War I are numerous and widely studied. Some scholars have argued that they are underdetermining individually but overdetermining collectively. The purpose of this article is not to fuel the battle among theories claiming complete explanatory power, but rather to examine some lessons for contemporary international relations. Much of the recent commentary on the war's centenary evokes similarities between Germany in 1914 and China in 2014, and between globalization then and now. There are crucial differences on both accounts, however.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, War
  • Political Geography: China, Germany
  • Author: Keren Yarhi-Milo
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: How do policymakers infer the long-term political intentions of their states' adversaries? This question has important theoretical, historical, and political significance. If British decisionmakers had understood the scope of Nazi Germany's intentions for Europe during the 1930s, the twentieth century might have looked very different. More recently, a Brookings report observes that “[t]he issue of mutual distrust of long-term intentions . . . has become a central concern in U.S.-China relations.” Statements by U.S. and Chinese officials confirm this suspicion. U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke noted “a concern, a question mark, by people all around the world and governments all around the world as to what China's intentions are.” Chinese officials, similarly, have indicated that Beijing regards recent U.S. policies as a “sophisticated ploy to frustrate China's growth.”
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe
  • Author: Nuno P. Monteiro
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since the collapse of the Soviet Union more than two decades ago, the United States has been the world's sole great power. It maintains a military that is one order of magnitude more powerful than any other; defense spending close to half of global military expenditures; a blue-water navy superior to all others combined; a chance at a splendid nuclear first strike over its erstwhile foe, Russia; a defense research and development budget that is 80 percent of the total defense expenditures of its most obvious future competitor, China; and unmatched global power-projection capabilities. The post-Cold War international system is thus unipolar.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China
  • Author: Michael Beckley
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: According to the Global Language Monitor, which tracks the top 50,000 media sources throughout the world, the "rise of China" has been the most read-about news story of the twenty-first century, surpassing the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Iraq War, the election of Barack Obama, and the British royal wedding. One reason for the story's popularity, presumably, is that the rise of China entails the decline of the United States. While China's economy grows at 9 percent annually, the United States reels from economic recession, costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and massive budget deficits. This divergence in fortunes has produced two pieces of conventional wisdom in U.S. and Chinese foreign policy debates. First, the United States is in decline relative to China. Second, much of this decline is the result of globalization-the integration of national economies and resultant diffusion of technology from developed to developing countries-and the hegemonic burdens the United States bears to sustain globalization.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, America
  • Author: M.E. Sarotte
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: For the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), erasing the memory of the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Square massacre remains a full-time job. The party aggressively monitors and restricts media and internet commentary about the event. As Sinologist Jean-Philippe Béja has put it, during the last two decades it has not been possible "even so much as to mention the conjoined Chinese characters for 6 and 4" in web searches, so dissident postings refer instead to the imaginary date of May 35. Party censors make it "inconceivable for scholars to access Chinese archival sources" on Tiananmen, according to historian Chen Jian, and do not permit schoolchildren to study the topic; 1989 remains a "'forbidden zone' in the press, scholarship, and classroom teaching." The party still detains some of those who took part in the protest and does not allow others to leave the country. And every June 4, the CCP seeks to prevent any form of remembrance with detentions and a show of force by the pervasive Chinese security apparatus. The result, according to expert Perry Link, is that in to-day's People's Republic of China (PRC), "Most young people have barely heard about the events of 1989."
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Author: Karthika Sasikumar, Andrew B. Kennedy, Gaurav Kampani, Jason Stone
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In his article, Andrew Kennedy attributes India's nuclear restraint from 1964 to 1989 to (1) implicit nuclear umbrellas extended by the two superpowers and (2) the normative beliefs of Indian leaders. Using newly available declassified documents, he argues that India's apparent absence of nuclear balancing against China and Pakistan until the 1980s was a distortion of reality, because the balancing occurred in secret. Its means were implicit nuclear umbrellas, first extended against China in the mid-1960s by both superpowers and then from 1970 to 1991 by the former Soviet Union. As Soviet power in the mid-1980s waned, India resorted to internal balancing by developing an independent nuclear arsenal (pp. 151-152). Kennedy further claims that Indian leaders first sought security through international disarmament institutions. Only when that quest failed did they proceed with nuclear acquisition (pp. 144-146).
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, India
  • Author: James K. Sebenius, Michael K. Singh
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since assuming the presidency of the United States in January 2009, Barack Obama has tried both outreach and sanctions in an effort to halt Iran's progress toward a nuclear weapons capability. Yet neither President Obama's personal diplomacy nor several rounds of talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council-China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States-plus Germany (the "P5 1") nor escalating sanctions have deterred Tehran. Iran has not only continued but accelerated its nuclear progress, accumulating sufficient low-enriched uranium that, if further enriched, would be sufficient for five nuclear weapons. Consequently, as Iran makes major advances in its nuclear capabilities, speculation has increased that Israel or a United States-led coalition may be nearing the decision to conduct a military strike to disable Iran's nuclear program.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Iran, France
  • Author: Michael Beckley, Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Michael Beckley's article deserves attention for challenging the view that the United States is declining because China is rising. Its ambiguous definition of decline, how - ever, sends the wrong impression about the distribution of economic and military power between the United States and China. Without being explicit, Beckley implies that the United States is not declining because the absolute difference of economic, military, and technological capabilities between the United States and China is growing. In contrast, both theory and history suggest that it is more important that the relative distribution of economic and military capabilities between the United States and China is falling: as I propose below, decline is best defined as a decrease in the ratio of economic and military capabilities between two great powers. As a result, even if the United States maintains a large advantage in absolute capabilities, the fact that U.S. capabilities are decreasing relative to China's means that China will find it easier to advance its interests where U.S. and Chinese goals diverge, while the United States' ability to pursue its own interests in world affairs will be increasingly constrained by Chinese power.
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Paul MacDonald, Joseph M. Parent
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: How do great powers respond to acute decline? The erosion of the relative power of the United States has scholars and policymakers reexamining this question. The central issue is whether prompt retrenchment is desirable or probable. Some pessimists counsel that retrenchment is a dangerous policy, because it shows weakness and invites attack. Robert Kagan, for example, warns, “A reduction in defense spending . . . would unnerve American allies and undercut efforts to gain greater cooperation. There is already a sense around the world, fed by irresponsible pundits here at home, that the United States is in terminal decline. Many fear that the economic crisis will cause the United States to pull back from overseas commitments. The announcement of a defense cutback would be taken by the world as evidence that the American retreat has begun.” Robert Kaplan likewise argues, “Husbanding our power in an effort to slow America's decline in a post-Iraq and post-Afghanistan world would mean avoiding debilitating land entanglements and focusing instead on being more of an offshore balancer.... While this may be in America's interest, the very signaling of such an aloof intention may encourage regional bullies.... [L]essening our engagement with the world would have devastating consequences for humanity. The disruptions we witness today are but a taste of what is to come should our country flinch from its international responsibilties.” The consequences of these views are clear: retrenchment should be avoided and forward defenses maintained into the indefinite future.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China
  • Author: Randall Schweller, Xiaoyu Pu
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The emerging transition from unipolarity to a more multipolar distribution of global power presents a unique and unappreciated problem that largely explains why, contrary to the expectations of balance of power theory, a counterbalancing reaction to U.S. primacy has not yet taken place. The problem is that, under unipolarity and only unipolarity, balancing is a revisionist, not a status quo, behavior: its purpose is to replace the existing unbalanced unipolar structure with a balance of power system. Thus, any state that seeks to restore a global balance of power will be labeled a revisionist aggressor. To overcome this ideational hurdle to balancing behavior, a rising power must delegitimize the unipole's global authority and order through discursive and cost-imposing practices of resistance that pave the way for the next phase of full-fledged balancing and global contestation. The type of international order that emerges on the other side of the transition out of unipolarity depends on whether the emerging powers assume the role of supporters, spoilers, or shirkers. As the most viable peer competitor to U.S. power, China will play an especially important role in determining the future shape of international politics. At this relatively early stage in its development, however, China does not yet have a fixed blueprint for a new world order. Instead, competing Chinese visions of order map on to various delegitimation strategies and scenarios about how the transition from unipolarity to a restored global balance of power will develop.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Andrew B. Kennedy
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Why did India merely flirt with nuclear weapons in the 1960s and 1970s only to emerge as a nuclear power in the 1990s? Although a variety of factors informed India's prolonged restraint and subsequent breakthrough, new evidence indicates that India's “nuclear odyssey” can be understood as a function of Indian leaders' ability to secure their country through nonmilitary means, particularly implicit nuclear umbrellas and international institutions. In the 1960s and 1970s, India was relatively successful in this regard as it sought and received implicit support from the superpowers against China. This success, in turn, made acquiring the bomb a less pressing question. At the end of the Cold War, however, nonmilitary measures ceased to be viable for India. In the late 1980s, waning Soviet support and the failure of Rajiv Gandhi's diplomatic initiatives led to the creation of India's de facto nuclear arsenal. In the 1990s, India developed a more overt capability, not simply because the pro-bomb Bharatiya Janata Party came to power, but also because its external backing had vanished and because its efforts to improve its security through diplomacy proved unsuccessful.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: China, India, Soviet Union
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In East Asia the United States cultivated a "hub and spokes" system of discrete, exclusive alliances with the Republic of Korea, the Republic of China, and Japan, a system that was distinct from the multilateral security alliances it preferred in Europe. Bilateralism emerged in East Asia as the dominant security structure because of the "powerplay" rationale behind U.S. postwar planning in the region. "Powerplay" refers to the construction of an asymmetric alliance designed to exert maximum control over the smaller ally's actions. The United States created a series of bilateral alliances in East Asia to contain the Soviet threat, but a congruent rationale was to constrain "rogue allies"- that is, rabidly anticommunist dictators who might start wars for reasons of domestic legitimacy and entrap the United States in an unwanted larger war. Underscoring the U.S. desire to avoid such an outcome was a belief in the domino theory, which held that the fall of one small country in Asia could trigger a chain of countries falling to communism. The administrations of Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower calculated that they could best restrain East Asia's pro-West dictators through tight bilateral alliances rather than through a regionwide multilateral mechanism. East Asia's security bilateralism today is therefore a historical artifact of this choice.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Deborah Welch Larson, Alexei Shevchenko
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, scholars and foreign policy analysts have debated the type of world order that the United States should strive to create—a hegemonic system, a multilateral institutional system, or a great power concert. Initially, a major issue was whether attempts to maintain U.S. primacy would stimulate counter - balancing from other states. But since the 2003 Iraq War, a new consideration has emerged—how to persuade other states to cooperate with U.S. global governance. States that do not oppose efforts by the United States to maintain stability may nonetheless decline to follow its leadership. This is a matter for concern because although the United States can act alone, it cannot succeed on such issues as controlling terrorism, curbing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), rebuilding failed states, or maintaining economic stability without help from other states.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iraq
  • Author: M. Taylor Fravel, Evan S. Medeiros
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: On October 16, 1964, China exploded its first nuclear weapon at the Lop Nor test facility in Xinjiang. China's subsequent development of its nuclear strategy and force structure presents a puzzle for scholars and policymakers alike. Following its initial development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile capabilities, China built a small, unsophisticated, and, arguably, highly vulnerable nu - clear force. In addition, for more than three decades, the pace of China's nuclear modernization efforts was slow and gradual despite the continued vulnerability of its force. In relative terms, China's nuclear forces were far smaller and less diverse than those of the United States or the Soviet Union both during and after the Cold War. At the same time, China did not develop detailed operational doctrine for overcoming its relative inferiority, let alone for the effective use of its arsenal. Such a nuclear posture called into question the credibility of China's ability to deter states with much larger arsenals, more refined doctrines, and more powerful conventional military forces. In retrospect, the degree of vulnerability that China was willing to accept after developing nuclear weapons is striking.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Phillip C. Saunders, Michael A. Glosny
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Michael Glosny and Phillip Saunders respond to Robert Ross's Fall 2009 International Security article, "China's Naval Nationalism: Sources, Prospects, and the U.S. Response."
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Michael Mousseau
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Democracy does not cause peace among nations. An analysis of conflicts from 1961 to 2001 shows that the absence of war between democratic countries depends on domestic economic factors-such as a contract-intensive economy-rather than on democracy. Because China and Russia lack this type of economy, an economic divide will define great power politics in the coming decade. Democratic leaders of nations with contract-intensive economies would do better to support global economic opportunity than to promote democracy abroad.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Author: Phillip C. Saunders, Scott L. Kastner
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: After eight years of cross-strait tensions, the decisive 2008 Taiwan election victories by the Kuomintang (KMT, or Nationalist Party) and KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou provide a major opportunity to improve relations between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan. The Chinese Communist Party welcomed Ma's victory as reducing the threat of Taiwan independence and creating an atmosphere for resumed dialogue and closer ties. Recognizing that final resolution of Taiwan's status is currently impossible, leaders on both sides have raised the possibility of negotiating a peace agreement that might stabilize the cross-strait situation. If successful, an agreement might greatly reduce the chance of a crisis that could draw the United States and China into a military conflict. Such an agreement could also provide a positive example that might apply to other cases of long-term political or ethnic conflict. This article examines what a China-Taiwan peace agreement might look like and whether it could be effective in managing tensions and reducing the risk of war.
  • Topic: War, Water
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Taiwan
  • Author: Christopher Layne
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Over the next two decades, international politics will be shaped by whether the international system remains unipolar or is transformed into a multipolar system. Can the United States sustain its primacy? Or will the emergence of new great powers reorder the distribution of power in the international system? If U.S. power is waning, will power transition dynamics result in security competitions and an increased possibility of war? In particular, what are the implications of China's rapid ascent to great power status? If the United States is unable to preserve its hegemonic role, what will happen to the security and economic frameworks that it took the lead in creating after the end of World War II and that have provided the foundation for the international order ever since? In a world no longer defined by U.S. hegemony, what would become of globalization and the open international economic system that the United established after World War II and expanded after the Cold War ended? This essay reviews five publications that grapple with these questions: Stephen G. Brooks and William C. Wohlforth, World Out of Balance: International Relations and the Challenge of American Primacy; Parag Khanna, The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order; Kishore Mahbubani, The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East; National Intelligence Council, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World; and Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Daniel W. Drezner
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: China has challenged the United States on multiple policy fronts since the beginning of 2009. On the security dimension, Chinese ships have engaged in multiple skirmishes with U.S. surveillance vessels in an effort to hinder American efforts to collect naval intelligence. China has also pressed the United States on the economic policy front. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao told reporters that he was concerned about China's investments in the United States: “We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” The head of the People's Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, followed up with a white paper suggesting a shift away from the dollar as the world's reserve currency. China's government has issued repeated calls for a greater voice in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. To bolster this call, Beijing helped to organize a summit of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) to better articulate this message.
  • Topic: Security, Debt, Government, Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, India, Brazil
  • Author: Robert Ross
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Recent developments in Chinese politics and defense policy indicate that China will soon embark on an ambitious maritime policy that will include construction of a power-projection navy centered on an aircraft carrier. But just as nationalism and the pursuit of status encouraged past land powers to seek great power maritime capabilities, widespread nationalism, growing social instability, and the leadership's concern for its political legitimacy drive China's naval ambition. China's maritime power, however, will be limited by the constraints experienced by all land powers: enduring challenges to Chinese territorial security and a corresponding commitment to a large ground force capability will constrain China's naval capabilities and its potential challenge to U.S. maritime security. Nonetheless, China's naval nationalism will challenge U.S.-China cooperation. It will likely elicit increased U.S. naval spending and deployments, as well as politicization of China policy in the United States, challenging the United States to develop policy to manage U.S.-China naval competition to allow for continued political cooperation.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China