2 Events

On the cover of Puck published on April 6, 1901, in the wake of gainful victory in the Spanish–American War, Columbia—the National personification of the U.S.—preens herself with an Easter bonnet in the form of a warship bearing the words "World Power" and the word "Expansion" on the smoke coming out of its stack.

Library of Congress

Seminar - Open to the Public

Power, Perception, and Status: Understanding Ambiguous Global Order

Thu., Sep. 27, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Benjamin Zala, Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

For some time now, in both the scholarly literature and the statements of practitioners, it has been possible to identify competing perceptions of how many major centers of power exist in the world. Therefore whether the distribution of power should be characterized as unipolar, bipolar, multipolar, or perhaps even "nonpolar," has been a central theme of much analysis leading to a general sense of ambiguity in the way scholars and policymakers describe the inter-state order. This seminar will outline a way of making sense of this phenomenon without abandoning polarity analysis altogether. It will answer two central questions; how can scholars and policymakers account for the occurrence of competing perceptions of polarity theoretically? And how should they characterize its importance historically?

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