ChinaTalks: The Return of Bipolarity in World Politics: China, the United States and Geostructural Realism

Mash up of American and Chinese flag

ThinkChina and the Centre for Military Studies at University of Copenhagen invite you to a talk by Øystein Tunsjø, Professor of International Relations at the Centre for Asian Security Studies, Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies.


Professor Tunsjø's new book argues that the international system has entered a new US-China bipolar system. In establishing the bipolarity thesis it focuses on three arguments: 1) the narrowing power gap between the US and China; 2) the widening power gap between China and #3 ranking power; and 3) the roughly similar distribution of capabilities between the contemporary international system and the origins of the previous bipolar system in 1950. China has not reached power parity with the US, but the USSR was never as powerful as the US during the previous bipolar system. Currently, it is the widening power gap between the US and China and any third ranking power that has shifted the international system from unipolarity to bipolarity.

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Øystein TunsjøØystein Tunsjø is Professor at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies. Tunsjø’s recent book is The Return of Bipolarity in World Politics: China, the United States and Geostructural Realism, Columbia University Press, 2018. He is author of Security and Profits in China’s Energy Policy: Hedging Against Risk (Columbia University Press, 2013) and US Taiwan Policy: Constructing the Triangle (London: Routledge, 2008). Tunsjø is co-editor with Robert S. Ross of Strategic adjustment and the Rise of China: Power and Politics in East Asia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2017); co-editor with Robert S. Ross and Peter Dutton of Twenty First Century Seapower: Cooperation and Conflict at Sea (London: Routledge, 2012, translated to Chinese, 21 Shiji Haiyang Daguo: Haishang Hezuo yu Zhongtu Guanli, by Shehui Kexue Wenxian Zhubanshe, Beijing, 2014) and co-editor with Robert Ross and Zhang Tuosheng of US-China-EU Relations: Managing a New World Order (London: Routledge, 2010, translated to Chinese, Zhong Mei Ou Guanxi: Goujian Xin de Shijie Zhixu by the World Affairs Press, Beijing, 2012). Tunsjø has published articles in journals such as Survival, International Relations, Cooperation and Conflict and World Economy and Politics (in Chinese) and contributed with book chapters to several edited volumes. Tunsjø holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, 2006, a Cand Philol in History form the University of Oslo, 2003, an MSc from the London School of Economics, 2002 and a MA from Griffith University, Australia, 2000. Tunsjø was a visiting Fulbright scholar at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University, during spring term of 2010.

Practical information: 

Time: 15/05-2018 14:15-16:00

Place: University of Copenhagen, City Campus (CSS), Room TBA.

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