Speaker: Wooseon Choi, Research Fellow, International Security Program

Many realists such as Hans Morgenthau, Jack Snyder, and Thomas Christensen have argued that the United States and China had a common power interest in countering the Soviet Union, the strongest continental power, during the Cold War. They argue, however, that the United States and China had had a hostile relationship mainly due to American domestic politics until the Nixon administration finally succeeded in overcoming domestic obstacles to make an alliance with China in 1972. They consider U.S.-China relations until 1971 as an important anomaly to balance of power theory. Countering conventional domestic explanations, the speaker presents a structural explanation that U.S.-China relations before and after 1972 are explained by the power structures. He argues that the case long considered as an anomaly actually shows how strongly power structure influences the behaviors of states.

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

For more information, email the International Security Program Assistant at susan_lynch@harvard.edu.