Asia & the Pacific

12 Items

Ambassador Nicholas Burns gives remarks.

BTI Project / YouTube

Analysis & Opinions

How to Dismantle Democracy: Authoritarian Trends from A(merica) to Z(ambia)

| June 25, 2020

Authoritarian modes of governing have steadily increased over the past 10 years. A number of autocracies have intensified their repressive tactics, while several democracies – many of which were once classified as consolidated – have tampered with fundamental rights and the rule of law. Despite a few developments to the contrary, the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) 2020 highlights the ongoing decline of democracy around the globe.

The presentation of BTI results focused on the resembling patterns of dismantling democracy in (highly) defective democracies such as Hungary, Moldova, the Philippines, Serbia or Zambia and regimes in which this process has been so pronounced that they are now categorized as autocracies in the BTI, such as Bangladesh, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Turkey or Uganda. It looked at the typical sequence to an authoritarian deconstruction of democratic institutions from within, from the purposeful undermining of oversight institutions, attacking the media and civil society to manipulating the electoral system, in order to examine the resonance of these trends in the United States. The goal of the discussion is to identify the features and underlying causes of this erosion, and to suggest promising counter-strategies.

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.

Report

Challenges to U.S. Global Leadership

In a Harvard Kennedy School IDEASpHERE session titled "Challenges to US Global Leadership," Graham Allison, Nicholas Burns, David Gergen, David Ignatius, and Meghan O’Sullivan discussed challenges as well as opportunities facing the United States. Burns moderated the session.

Challenges include the rise of China and the future of the U.S.-China relationship, the crises taking place around the world, and the reputation of the U.S. worldwide. An unexpected opportunity is the increase in available energy sources in the United States.

Winning the Peace

Photo by Martha Stewart

Report

Winning the Peace

May 16, 2014

The last seven decades without war among the great powers – what historians describe as “the long peace” – is a remarkable achievement. “This is a rare and unusual fact if you look at the last few thousand years of history,” said Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center and moderator of the IDEASpHERE panel “Winning the Peace.” “Furthermore, it is no accident. Wise choices by statesmen have contributed to ‘the long peace,’ which has allowed many generations to live their lives.”

Could the Ukraine Crisis Spark a World War?

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Could the Ukraine Crisis Spark a World War?

| May 7, 2014

The thought that what we are now witnessing in Ukraine could trigger a cascade of actions and reactions that end in war will strike most readers as fanciful. Fortunately, it is, writes Graham Allison. But we should not forget that in May 1914, the possibility that the assassination of an Archduke could produce a world war seemed almost inconceivable. History teaches that unlikely, even unimaginable events do happen.

News

U.S.-Russia Arms Control: Prospects and Challenges

    Author:
  • Amb. Steven Pifer
| March 29, 2013

This seminar examined the prospects for further nuclear arms reductions between the United States and Russia, including the possibility that negotiations might be expanded to weapons not limited by the New START Treaty. The seminar covered U.S. and Russian differences over missile defense and how those might be resolved to allow a cooperative NATO-Russia missile defense arrangement for Europe.

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Matthew Bunn Interview on Successes, Challenges of 2012 Nuclear Summit

| March 29, 2012

Following the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, Associate Professor Matthew Bunn answered questions from Research Associate Eben Harrell about the successes of the summit and the remaining challenges.