Mackinder Forum Virtual Seminar #53: Professor Jack Goldstone, “The China Challenge”

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On March 26, 2022, Professor Jack Goldstone addressed the Mackinder Forum Seminar on “The China Challenge.”

Abstract:  The rise of China is confusing.  Giant with feet of clay?  Or 21st Century tech superpower?   This talk will provide an assessment of China’s short and long-term goals, the threats they pose to US global leadership and global political stability, and the likely outcomes of the US-China competition by 2050.  The overall assessment is that a high degree of instability and conflict is likely in the short term, followed by a period of internal disorder in China, and eventual democratization.  Just as good relations with a democratic Germany or Japan seemed a distant and impossible outcome in the 1930s, and yet was suddenly realized in the 1950s, so I believe regime change is also coming in China.  For the next two or three difficult decades, however, the US should recapitulate the policies that led to the fall of the Soviet Union: Relentless criticism of China’s human rights abuses; support for dissidents; and building a strong  international coalition to resist China’s expansion and influence.


Jack A. Goldstone, “Will China Rise,” Washington Journal of Modern China, June 2018.

Jack A. Goldstone, “The Once and Future Middle Kingdom: China’s Return to Dominance in the Global Economy,” Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung 28 (2018) Heft 4, S. 116–135.

Biography: Jack A. Goldstone is the Hazel Professor of Public Policy at the Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University. He has won fellowships from the Guggenheim, MacArthur and Carnegie Foundations, and is the author of Revolution and Rebellion in the Modern World and Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction.