Professor John Mearsheimer addressed the Mackinder Forum on July 11, 2021, 1:30-3:00 p.m. Eastern US time on “The New Sino-American Cold War versus The Old US-Soviet Cold War.”
ABSTRACT: The aim of this talk is to consider the similarities and differences between the US-Soviet rivalry (1947-1989) and the burgeoning Sino-American rivalry. Both competitions were driven by balance-of-power politics, not ideology, and in each instance the United States was focused on preventing its rival from establishing regional hegemony. China, however, is likely to be a more formidable adversary than the Soviet Union, and the likelihood of a hot war is more likely with China than it was with the Soviets during the first Cold War.
Biography: John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1982. He graduated from West Point (1970), has a PhD in political science from Cornell University (1981), and has written extensively about security issues and international politics. Among his six books, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (2001, 2014) won the Joseph Lepgold Book Prize; and The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (with Stephen M. Walt, 2007), made the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into twenty-four languages. His latest book is The Great Delusion: Liberal Ideals and International Realities (2018), which won the 2019 Best Book of the Year Award from the Valdai Discussion Conference, Moscow. He has written numerous articles and op-eds that have appeared in International Security, London Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, The Financial Times, and The New York Times. In 2003, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2020, he won the James Madison Award, which is given once every three years by the American Political Science Association to “an American political scientist who has made a distinguished scholarly contribution to political science.”
Readings: The main reading was drawn from chapter 10 (“Can China Rise Peacefully”) of the revised version of Professor Mearsheimer’s Tragedy of Great Powers (2014), pp. 360-411.