Avoiding Thucydides’s Trap
August 22, 2012
Op-ed by: Graham Allison, Belfer Center director
Topic: U.S.-China relations
“The defining question about global order in the decades ahead will be: can China and the US escape Thucydides’s trap? The historian’s metaphor reminds us of the dangers two parties face when a rising power rivals a ruling power – as Athens did in 5th century BC and Germany did at the end of the 19th century. Most such challenges have ended in war. Peaceful cases required huge adjustments in the attitudes and actions of the governments and the societies of both countries involved.”
Allison also discussed the issue on WBUR’s syndicated program “On Point” with Tom Ashbrook on August 23, 2012.