The Newsletter 65 Autumn 2013

Power balance

Emilian Kavalski

Reviewed publication: Chan, Steve. 2012. Looking for Balance: China, the United States, and Power Balancing in East Asia. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, ISBN: 9780804778206

Perhaps few international actors had their standing in global life as profoundly altered by the end of the Cold War as the United States and China. Almost overnight, Washington became the capital of the sole surviving superpower. It took Beijing longer to vie for a similar status. However, China’s expanding outreach and diversifying roles have provided a novel context for the ongoing reconsiderations of world affairs. Steve Chan’s investigation assesses the likely patterns of interactions between the American hegemon and the Chinese contender in the context of East Asia. The emphasis is on the deepening and widening engagement, which does not necessarily banish power politics from the policy equation, but makes it highly unlikely by engendering a complex network of “interlocking interests, stakes, and ideas”.

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