ChinaTalk: China and the Re-Centering of Asia

ThinkChina and the Department of Political Science at University of Copenhagen are pleased to present Professor Brantly Womack, who will give a ChinaTalk about China and the re-centering of Asia.


Traditional China remained central to East and Central Asia despite centuries of discord and conquests by outsiders.  While China’s internal cohesion and preponderance of power wavered, the three constants underlying its centrality were its presence (central location and absence of alternative centers), its population, and its productivity.  In the modern era China was overpowered, but more importantly the West provided alternative presence and much greater productivity.  In the current multinodal era China’s ambition is to re-establish its centrality.  Presence returns as inclusive connectivity.  Population returns as market.  Production returns initially as manufactures but increasingly as technology and international services.  But the diplomatic culture appropriate to globally inclusive Asian centricity is neither the paternalism of the tribute system nor the domination of modern imperialism.  China’s major external challenge will be to avoid slipping into the traditional complacency that centrality implies superiority.


Brantly Womack


Brantly Womack is Cumming Memorial Professor of Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia. Most of his work has been on Chinese national and international politics.

Womack received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1977 He had previously received a M.A. from Chicago, and a B.A. from the University of Dallas. He was a Fulbright Scholar, at the University of Munich, 1969-1970

After he received his doctorate, he worked as Assistant Professor of Political Science and Political Economy, the University of Texas at Dallas, followed by positions as Assistant and then Associate Professor and finally full Professor at Northern Illinois University. He went to the University of Virginia in 1992 as Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor of Public Affairs in its The Miller Center for Public Affair, and was later appointed to its Hugh S. & Winifred B. Cumming Memorial Chair in International Affairs.

Womack is also an Honorary professor at Jilin University (Changchun), and at East China Normal University (Shanghai).

Registration is closed

Practical information

Time: 8th of March 2018, 15:00 - 17:00

Place: Center for Sundhed og Samfund (CSS), room TBA