Diplomatic Driving in the Fog of Great Power Rivalry: The Options of Third Countries between the United States and China

Guest Lecture “Diplomatic Driving in the Fog of Great Power Rivalry: The Options of Third Countries between the United States and China”

Speaker: Prof. Brantly Womack, University of Virginia

Date: Tuesday 10 March

Time: 10:15-11:30

Venue: Topelia Room A118, University of Helsinki

While the era of asymmetric rivalry between the United States and China is unlikely to split global politics into Cold War style camps, it already is influencing the diplomatic options of other countries. Each must manage two very different but important bilateral relationships that are interrelated by the rivalry, while at the same time coping with the general uncertainties and regional effects of tensions at the global level. Given the complexities of national environments there cannot be a general diplomatic solution, but cautionary principles can be suggested. Meanwhile the effectiveness of asymmetric diplomacy by the global powers toward third countries will be a key determinant in their relative success in their rivalry.

Brantly Womack is Professor of Foreign Affairs and holds the Miller Center’s C K Yen Chair at the University of Virginia. He received his BA in politics and philosophy from the University of Dallas and his PhD in political science from University of Chicago. He was a Fulbright Scholar in philosophy at the University of Munich. He is the author of Asymmetry and International Relationships (Cambridge University Press, 2016), China Among Unequals: Asymmetric International Relationships in Asia (World Scientific Press 2010), and of China and Vietnam: The Politics of Asymmetry (Cambridge 2006), as well as over a hundred articles and book chapters. He co-edited with Yuk Wah Chan Borderlands in East and Southeast Asia (Routledge 2017), with Hao Yufan Rethinking the Triangle: Washington, Beijing, Taipei (University of Macau Press and World Scientific Press, 2016), edited China’s Rise in Historical Perspective (Rowman and Littlefield 2010) and Contemporary Chinese Politics in Historical Perspective (Cambridge 1991). In 2011 Womack received the China Friendship Award for his work with Chinese universities. He holds honorary positions at Jilin University, East China Normal University, and Zhongshan (Sun Yat-Sen) University. He has been a visiting research professor at the East Asia Institute of National University of Singapore, East China Normal University in Shanghai, and China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing.