Our aim in this seminar will be to explore the future of rising China and alternative U.S. policy approaches for coping with it. A core focus of our discussion will be the domestic sources and drivers of China’s conduct. We will begin by considering the nature of the PRC-Leninist regime that has ruled China since 1949. We will then explore how Chinese nationalism and the PRC party-state’s search for “political security” in the post-Cold War era has shaped the PRC’s efforts to maintain its rule at home as well as its conduct abroad. On the basis of these discussions, we will then evaluate some U.S. policy approaches and requirements for coping with the rise of China and keeping the peace in Asia. On the final day, we will explore alternative U.S. long-range strategies for coping with China’s rise in the course of a crisis simulation.

Image courtesy Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China

Eric Brown on the future of Chinese democracy


Eric Brown

Eric Brown is a Senior Research Scientist at the College of William & Mary’s Global Research Institute, where he is developing research and educational programs on world politics, applied history, and security. Prior to joining GRI in 2022, Brown was a senior fellow at Hudson Institute.

Preview the Syllabus by Week/Session



Discussion Questions:

  1. What does Confucius mean by the “rectification of names,” and why is this so important to the conduct of a country’s political and strategic affairs?
  2. In what ways are “China” and the “PRC” Leninist regime that rules China different, and in what ways are they one and the same?
  3. How might domestic factors—including corruption, lack of the rule of law, demographic imbalances, and the booms and busts of economic dynamism—affect the future shape and orientation of the PRC’s rule?
  4. What are the implications of “China’s” integration with the Asian liberal order for the “PRC”?



Discussion Questions:

  1. What are the fears, interests and ambitions that motivate Chinese nationalism?
  2. Does Chinese nationalism enhance the security of China and the PRC regime or does it undermine it?
  3. What are the implications of Chinese nationalism and the Chinese search for alternative theories of world order for the PRC’s relations with its neighbors and with the U.S.?

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