Video Broadcast: Global Order and Great Power Politics in the 21st Century

On October 18, 2016, the Valdai Club held a discussion with John Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and one of the key proponents of modern political realism.

The discussion was centred on the probability of a war between great powers, a topic broadly discussed by international scholars and hyped in the media. Professor Mearsheimer began by noting that he did not believe in prospects of a war similar to WWI or WWII. He added that due to the presence of nuclear weapons, it is almost impossible to win a world war having decisively defeated the opponent, and therefore, any war between great powers would be a limited one.

Despite entrenched tensions between the United States and Russia, the most likely conflict will be between the United States and China, Mearsheimer continued. The reason for that is that China is potentially a very powerful country and is poised to dominate all of Asia, the way the United States dominates the western hemisphere, which is unacceptable for the United States. No country in Europe, including Russia, poses a similar threat to the US interests, he said.


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