US-China tensions over global supremacy escalated over the last years, increasing the likelihood of a future conflict. However, an open conflict would have costly consequences for both sides due to the countries’ deep economic interconnectedness. Against this backdrop, the book addresses the question how high the incentives for both sides are to avoid conflict and continue cooperation out of economic considerations.
The objective of this Ph.D. thesis is to assess the influence of economic interdependencies on political relations in a mixed-methods case study. The US and China have been chosen as research objects due to their high level of economic interconnectedness and the growing potential for bilateral conflict. China’s increasing territorial ambitions, the US “Pivot” to Asia and the US-China trade dispute reinforce the argument that the ongoing shift of power between the US und China cannot take place peacefully. Proponents of power transition theory anticipate US-China tensions over global supremacy to increase and predict that this struggle will end in open conflict. However, conflict would have costly consequences for both sides due to the deep economic interconnectedness. The existing economic nexus of trade, investments, Chinese held US securities, and currency reserves has led to a symbiotic relationship between the United States and China referred to as “Chimerica”. As a result, economic interdependence is so strong that a disturbance of economic relations would seriously harm both countries. The thesis addresses the question how high the incentives for both sides are to continue cooperation out of economic considerations. The extent of the economic incentive functions as indicator for the restraining influence of economic interdependence on US-China relations.
Dr. rer. pol. Frank Mouritz, Bundeswehr University, Munich, and George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
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The Target Group:
Researchers and lecturers in Political Science, especially International Relations