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Understanding the New Great Power Competition

From July 21-31, the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation hosted the Great Power Competition in the 21st Century virtual mini-series.

Great power competition used to be associated with U.S. rivalry with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Today, the term is increasingly focused on geostrategic competition between the U.S. and China, and to a lesser extent, the U.S. and Russia and emerging powers like India and Brazil. 

While scholarship on the new great power competition is still emerging, much of what exists focuses on military, diplomatic, and hard power competition. Little attention has so far been paid to the technological, economic, and domestic dynamics.

Building on the 2019 great powers summer training course, the 2020 virtual mini-series covered economic statecraft, security, the Chinese techno-security state under Xi Jinping, and what the future holds for Chinese-American competition.

Listen to the lectures:

The Nature and Dynamics of Great Power Competition: The Security Dimension
With Brad Roberts, director, Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

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Economic State Craft & Great Power Competition
With Vinod Aggarwal, Travers Family Senior Faculty Fellow and Professor in the Department of Political Science, Affiliated Professor in the Business and Public Policy group in the Haas School of Business, and Director of the Berkeley Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Study Center at UC at Berkeley.

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The Chinese National Security and Techno-Security State
With Tai Ming Cheung, Director, IGCC and Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego.

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U.S. Grand Strategy: Is There One?
With Thomas Mahnken, President, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.


The Great Power Competition series is part of a multi-year project, funded by a grant from the University of California Office of the President Laboratory Fees Research Program, that brings together scholars from political science, international relations, security studies, political economy, and area studies from four UC campuses and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to look closely at the intersection of economics, strategy, security, technology, and politics in this dynamic scenario.

The University of California has managed the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore Laboratories since 1943. IGCC was established in 1982, to study questions of peace and security, and promote nuclear arms control and curb proliferation, in addition to the work being done in the laboratories. A significant portion of IGCC research since 1980s has focused on understanding these security issues.