A new year

Glancing through international relations scholar Stephen Walt’s last post of the year, I came across a couple of other interesting blog posts through the links there.

One confirms his Realist view that international politics – that is, political relations and decision making affecting people – between states – is most times a zero-sum game, but with a novel twist.

Quoting Chinese scholar Yan Xuetong writing in a New York Times op-ed piece with the provocative title ‘How China Can Defeat America’, he considers the statement that “the central attribute of political power was morally informed

Edel Rodriguez

by Edel Rodriguez

leadership” and that competition between the United States and China will be won by the state that has “human authority”, which Walt explains as “material power fused with moral principle”.

Yan elaborates that “Humane authority begins by creating a desirable model at home that inspires people abroad.”

It’s an intriguing idea, and the beginnings of a concept that bears serious watching.

This is especially in light of two other linked pieces – his ‘Is America Addicted to War?’ and ‘Hawks who learned nothing’ (from Salon.com).

Happy new year. Hopefully it’s going to be a good one.


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