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


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… 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.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/09/united-states-china-war-thucydides-trap/406756/?utm_content=buffer4711d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
    http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/25760/thucydides_trap_project.html
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