Articles

18 Items

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Journal Article - Global Policy

The Case for Economic Development Through Sovereign Investment: A Paradox of Scarcity?

| Apr. 14, 2018

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have traditionally been created to recycle excess reserves from natural resource or non‐commodity revenues. However, in recent years funds are being established under conditions of capital scarcity with objectives to contribute domestic economic development, often through the buildout of national infrastructure programs. Such trends in new fund creation represent a fundamental shift in the sovereign wealth fund paradigm and raise serious questions about how these entities are to be capitalized and also the implications of capitalization models on their sustainability. This study examines the recent evolution of SWF models focused on economic development. Its analytic focus is drawn, in particular, to countries that are neither endowed with oil wealth, nor otherwise enjoy export surpluses to be used to capitalize a development‐oriented SWF. While this study is relevant to and expands the scope of the broad literature on SWFs, its specific contribution is as a focused analysis of how SWF funding sources impact achieving long‐term financial and socio‐economic development objectives.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Correspondence: Debating China's Rise and the Future of U.S. Power

| Fall 2016

William Z.Y. Wang responds to Stephen G. Brooks and William C. Wohlforth's winter 2015/16 article, "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers in the Twenty-first Century: China’s Rise and the Fate of America’s Global Position."

Chinese President Xi Jinping is displayed on a big screen in Beijing as Chinese battle tanks roll by during a Sept. 3, 2015 parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II.

(AP Photo)

Magazine Article - The Atlantic

The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

| September 24, 2015

The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant dangers when a rising power rivals a ruling power—as Athens challenged Sparta in ancient Greece, or as Germany did Britain a century ago. Most such contests have ended badly, often for both nations, a team of mine at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has concluded after analyzing the historical record. In 12 of 16 cases over the past 500 years, the result was war. When the parties avoided war, it required huge, painful adjustments in attitudes and actions on the part not just of the challenger but also the challenged.

In this photo taken Feb. 9, 2014, clouds loom over Sinopec oil refinery in Qingdao in China's Shandong province.

AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Is There an Oil Weapon? Security Implications of Changes in the Structure of the International Oil Market

    Authors:
  • Llewelyn Hughes
  • Austin Long
| Winter 2014/15

States have long worried that their dependence on oil gives producers a means of coercion. The oil market, however, is far larger and more integrated than it used to be. The potential for coercion differs across a series of distinct market segments. In this varied market, the United States remains the dominant force.

U.S. flag and China's flag flutter in winds at a hotel in Beijing Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.

Andy Wong/ AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Primacy or World Order? The United States and China's Rise—A Review Essay

| Winter 2013/14

How should the United States respond to China’s rise? What are China’s strategic goals? What are the implications of U.S.-China strategic interactions for world order? This review essay examines the answers provided by three recent works—Aaron Friedberg’s A Contest for Supremacy, Hugh White’s The China Choice, and Yan Xuetong’s Ancient Chinese Political Thought, Modern Chinese Power.

Refining crude oil in Al Mansura, east of Al Raqqah, northern Syria, May 8, 2013.

Rex Features via AP Images

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Fueling the Fire: Pathways from Oil to War

    Author:
  • Jeff D. Colgan
| Fall 2013

While the threat of "resource wars" over possession of oil reserves is often exaggerated, between one-quarter and one-half of interstate wars since 1973 have been connected to one or more of eight distinct oil-related causal mechanisms. Understanding these mechanisms can help policymakers design grand strategy and allocate military resources.

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons based at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, prepare for the first flight of exercise Red Flag-Alaska 12-1 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 7, 2011.

SSgt Christopher Boitz

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Military Primacy Doesn't Pay (Nearly As Much As You Think)

    Author:
  • Daniel W. Drezner
| Summer 2013

A common argument among scholars and policymakers is that America’s military preeminence and deep international engagement yield significant economic benefits to the United States and the rest of the world. Ostensibly, military primacy, beyond reducing security tensions, also encourages economic returns through a variety of loosely articulated causal mechanisms. A deeper analytical look reveals the causal pathways through which military primacy is most likely to yield economic returns: geoeconomic favoritism, whereby the military hegemon attracts private capital in return for providing the greatest security and safety to investors; direct geopolitical favoritism, according to which sovereign states, in return for living under the security umbrella of the military superpower, voluntarily transfer resources to help subsidize the costs of hegemony; and the public goods benefits that flow from hegemonic stability. A closer investigation of these causal mechanisms reveals little evidence that military primacy attracts private capital. The evidence for geopolitical favoritism seems more robust during periods of bipolarity than unipolarity. The evidence for public goods benefits is strongest, but military predominance plays only a supporting role in that logic. While further research is needed, the aggregate evidence suggests that the economic benefits of military hegemony have been exaggerated in policy circles. These findings have significant implications for theoretical debates about the fungibility of military power and should be considered when assessing U.S. fiscal options and grand strategy for the next decade.