24 February 2016

"The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers in the Twenty-First Century: China’s Rise and the Fate of America’s Global Position"

A Chinese man holds a national flag during a protest outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing, Wednesday, August 15, 2012.

Journal Article, International Security, volume 40, issue 3, page 7–53

Winter 2015/16

Authors: Stephen Brooks, Former Fellow, International Security Program, 2003-2004, William Wohlforth, Editorial Board Member, Quarterly Journal: International Security

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Quarterly Journal: International Security

Fears that China will soon displace the United States as the international system’s superpower are unwarranted. Unlike previous rising powers challenging leading states, China’s technological and military capabilities are much lower relative to those of the United States. Further, converting economic power into military might is far more difficult than it was in the past. Scholars and analysts need to go beyond the concepts of unipolarity and bipolarity and engage in fine-grained analysis of the distribution of power.

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