Seminar: "Between the Eagle and the Dragon: China, the U.S., and Middle State Grand Strategies in East Asia"


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Brown Bag Seminar by G. John Ikenberry

When: Jul 11 2012 - 12:00pm until Jul 11 2012 - 1:00pm
Where: John A. Burns Hall, Room 3012, East-West Center

East Asia is increasingly marked by the emergence of two hierarchies.  One is a security hierarchy dominated by the United States and the other is an economic hierarchy dominated by China.  The emergence of these “dual hierarchies” raises important questions.  Past regional and global orders have tended to have a more singular hierarchy of economics and security. For weaker or secondary states, the dominant military power was also the dominant economic power.  What happens when “middle states” are tied to different security and economic lead states?  How stable is this sort of dual hierarchical order? What sort of strategies will middle states pursue within this dual system of order?  What are the strategies that the United States and China will seek to pursue within the context of this dual hierarchical order? How stable is it as a regional order? 

Ikenberry explores the strategies and possible pathways of change within this dual hierarchical system.  China, the United States, and the middle states–face complex choices and trade-offs.  He argues that the dual hierarchical order does create and reinforce competitive dynamics between the two lead states.  At the same time, all of the states have a potentially dominant strategy that could serve to stabilize and preserve this dual hierarchical order. 

G. John Ikenberry is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University in the Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.  He is also Co-Director of Princeton’s Center for International Security Studies.  Ikenberry is also a Global Eminence Scholar at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea. In 2013-14, Ikenberry will be the 72nd Eastman Visiting Professor at Balliol College, Oxford.

He is the co-director of the Princeton Project on National Security, and he is the co-author, along with Anne-Marie Slaughter, of the final report, Forging a World of Liberty Under Law.  Among his many activities, Professor Ikenberry served as a member of the Policy Planning Staff in 1991-92, as a member of an advisory group at the State Department in 2003-04, and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on U.S.-European relations, the so-called Kissinger-Summers commission. He is also a reviewer of books on political and legal affairs for Foreign Affairs.


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Name: Cynthia Wasa Nakachi
Phone: (808) 944-7439
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