The Imminent US Strategic Adjustment to China

My article in The Chinese Journal of International Politics, “The Imminent US Strategic Adjustment to China,” is now available via Advance Access.

How can leaders in the United States and China ensure that future relations between their two countries are marked by peaceful cooperation and not conflict over the organization of world politics? Whereas most scholarly writing on the topic of China’s ‘peaceful rise’ has dwelt upon the ways and means by which Chinese leaders can steer their ship of state towards harmonious relations with the outside world, this article attempts to shift the focus onto foreign policy-making by the United States. The argument is that established states preside over a range of options when it comes to deciding how to respond to rising states during periods of shifting power and how they choose to adjust to an adverse alteration in relative power has dramatic consequences for the subsequent evolution of any given power-transitional dyad and, by extension, for the course of world politics more broadly. The author provides a conceptual framing of this function for established great powers during episodes of shifting power and seeks to elucidate in particular the domestic–political components of the role. The primary policy implication is to suggest that decision makers in the United States ought to be ready—much more ready than they currently are—to assume a hefty slice of responsibility for the ensuing power transition with China that most observers anticipate to be in the offing.

Download the article here.


Labour’s sectional turn

I have a short piece of commentary on the New Statesman website, on the Labour leadership election and sectionalism.  Read it here.

Of the many choices facing today’s Labour party, one dwarfs all others in terms long-term significance for the party and the country at large: should Labour fight to remain a national, catch-all party or should it reorganise itself along sectional lines? It is a debate that has plagued Labour since its very inception, and especially since it first formed a majority government in 1945. But this time, the consequences of giving in to sectionalism would be disastrous — and potentially irrevocable.

America’s Other Guantánamo: British Foreign Policy and the US Base on Diego Garcia

I have a new article in The Political Quarterly, arguing that British politicians ought to do more to reform the politics of the British Indian Ocean Territory, a British Overseas Territory that houses an important U.S. military base on the island of Diego Garcia but is also home to an exiled people, the Chagossians, who deserve to have their right of return restored.  Here is the abstract to my latest piece; you can read the full article by clicking here.

The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) is one of Britain’s most controversial Overseas Territories. Its indigenous people, the Chagossians, were exiled from their homes in the 1960s and 1970s so that BIOT could play host to a US military base on the island of Diego Garcia. Meanwhile, Diego Garcia has been tarnished by revelations regarding its role in the CIA’s ‘extraordinary rendition’ programme and by allegations of torture. And earlier this year, an international tribunal ruled that the UK government had violated international law by pushing through a Marine Protected Area to cover the territory over and above the protestations of neighbouring states. In this article, I argue that allowing the resettlement of BIOT by the Chagossians would go a long way towards improving the way that the territory has been governed for the past five decades.

See my Publications page for more of my writing on this topic.

Greek Crisis: Syriza’s Failure Is Europe’s Failure, Too

My latest:

Syriza has failed. Elected six months ago on a promise to ease the domestic costs of Greece’s gargantuan burden of debt, the government of Alexis Tsipras has now caved in to most of its creditors’ demands—albeit after a spirited struggle to avoid this fate. Still, the Eurozone’s finance ministers ought not to feel too triumphant; for while they might have succeeded in forcing austerity down the throats of the recalcitrant Greeks—pending parliamentary approvalsoon, that is—there is a very real sense that Syriza’s failure is Europe’s failure too. What is more, the effects of that failure could be quite profound.

Read the full piece here.

America’s Shrinking Military: The End of U.S. Primacy?

My latest piece for The National Interest puts the recently announced cuts to the U.S. Army in context.  This isn’t the end of U.S. military primacy – not by a long shot – but it could be evidence of a long-term trend away from a strategy of maintaining military preponderance.

The announcement that the U.S. Army is to lose 40,000 troops and 17,000 civilian employees by 2017 has taken some by surprise. Although it has long been known that the Obama administration was to pursue reductions in the size of the military in line with sequestration, the timing by which those economies are to take place is causing some controversy—especially in light of ongoing events in the Middle East and Europe.

But these cutbacks have little to do with Obama’s assessment of the short-term security environment. Instead, they are yet more evidence of a macro-level acceptance by America’s political elite that the country’s global supremacy should be allowed to dwindle—particularly in military terms. By countenancing the strictures of sequestration instead of trying to find a bipartisan escape from mandated cuts, the U.S. political class has effectively acquiesced in a winnowing away of the country’s military supremacy, come rain or shine…

I wrote another piece on this topic last year; click here to read it.