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국제관계연구소
Vol. 36-1 (April 2021) Offensive Realism and the Future of China’s Rise (Stanislav Myšicˇka)

One of the most important questions about China’s rising military and economic power is whether this trend will eventually lead to confrontation with the United States in the future or if China will become even more deeply integrated into the contemporary world order. John Mearsheimer’s theory of offensive realism claims that great powers relentlessly maximize their power in a highly competitive anarchical world in order to assure their survival by trying to achieve regional hegemony at the expense of other powerful actors. Unlike many other contemporary liberal and realist thinkers, Mearsheimer predicts that China will try to become regional hegemon in Asia, which will inevitably lead to counterbalancing moves by today’s sole regional hegemon – the United States. For Mearsheimer, significant change in China’s material capabilities will unescapably lead it to a conflict with an American-led counter-balancing coalition, similar to the situation during the Cold War superpower competition. In this paper, I argue that the theory of offensive realism is lacking both in theoretical accuracy and in interpretation of empirical cases chosen by its author. That is especially true of contemporary offensive realism’s analysis of China’s rise to become a true global power. Understanding the deficiencies of offensive realism is crucial for avoiding foreign policy prescriptions that might lead to further deterioration of future Sino–American relations.


Key words: international relations theory, rise of China, offensive realism, United States, China, international security.

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Issue information(April 2021).pdf

다음글 Vol. 36-1 (April 2021) A King Stifling Voices of Dissent? Popular Protests (Hsin-Hsien Wang, Wei-Feng Tzeng, Shinn-Shyr Wang and Wei-Chih Chiu)
이전글 Vol. 36-1 (April) India’s RCEP Dilemma with China: Beyond the Legal Texts