WorldAffairs

What can the rise of Japan and Germany in the last century - or the rise of Athens 2,000 years earlier - tell us about the risks facing the US and China today? Is a US-China war inevitable?

Graham Allison, among the most astute geostrategic observers of his generation, terms this “Thucydides’s Trap.” He takes us back to the Peloponnesian war to remind us of the timeless insights of the historian Thucydides: When a rising power rivals a ruling power, danger is near. In fact, in 12 of the 16 occasions this global power pattern has repeated, the outcome was war. With this view to history, the existential challenge of our era is not violent Islamic extremists or a resurgent Russia; it is the impact of China’s ascendance on the international order. According to Allison, "Never before in history has a nation risen so far, so fast."

Even Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged that the world “work together to avoid the Thucydides trap… Our aim is to foster a new model of major country relations.” But is being aware of danger enough to avoid it? While the West seeks to encircle and constrain, China demonstrates, with aggressive naval exercises in disputed seas, that it will demand the respect due a major power in its own region and the world. Can the world escape the perilous prophecy of Athens and Sparta?

Graham Allison, director of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, founding dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School and advisor to every secretary of defense from Reagan to Obama, shares insights from his career, and outlines the painful steps both China and the US must take to avoid disaster.

SPEAKER:

Graham Allison
Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University

MODERATOR:

Michael M. Nacht
Thomas and Alison Schneider Professor of Public Policy; Interim Director, Center for Studies in Higher Education, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1732

Direct download: 06_06_17_Graham_Allison.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:56am PST

In 2011, Cairo's Tahrir Square commanded the attention of the world as the Egyptian people demanded their freedom. At the time, President Barack Obama famously declared: “Egyptians have inspired us, they have changed the world.” But, half a decade later, is this the whole story?

The Arab World's most populous nation remains as volatile as ever and thoroughly enmeshed with a broader moment of political turbulence that is unfolding across the globe. In his new book, "The Egyptians: A Radical Story," former Egypt Correspondent for the Guardian, Jack Shenker, examines the roots of Egypt’s revolution, arguing for a much more nuanced, and far-reaching view of the forces that are reshaping the region. Egypt’s revolutionary turmoil has never just been about Mubarak, or his successors, or elections, says Shenker. It is not merely a civil war between Islamists and secularists, nor a fight between backwardness and modernity. Underlying it all, the unrest is about economically marginalized citizens muscling their way onto the political stage to demand sovereignty over domains previously closed to them: factories and urban streets, the houses they live in, the food they eat and the water they drink. The real story is more complicated and, ultimately, more hopeful.

Speaker Jack Shenker is an author and journalist, and Former Egypt Correspondent for the Guardian.

The conversation is moderated by David D. Arnold is President of The Asia Foundation.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1683

Direct download: 02_02_17_Jack_Shenker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:12pm PST

Our lives in 2050 will be vastly different than today. Rapidly advancing technology is changing everything from food production to health care, energy output, manufacturing and the military balance. Innovations already in development include brain-computer interfaces, vat-grown cruelty-free meat, knitted cars and guided bullets among many others. Technology which once seemed like science fiction is now reality - and even old news - where can we possibly go from here?

The Executive Editor of The Economist, Daniel Franklin, explores how technology will shape the future in his recent book, Megatech: Technology in 2050. His insights are based on extensive interviews with distinguished scientists, industry leaders, academics and acclaimed science-fiction authors who are at the forefront of the most exceptional inventions and sinister trends.

Where will technology be in 2050, and how will it affect the way we live? What does this mean for the job market and how we perform our work? In what ways can we prepare for the opportunities — as well as the dangers — that await?

Speaker Daniel Franklin is Executive Editor at The Economist. He is in conversation with Quentin Hardy, Head of Editorial at Google Cloud.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1699

Direct download: 03_29_17_Daniel_Franklin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm PST

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