Fretting over systemic tension while ignoring the substantive reasons for worry: China is run by people not by ‘forces’

Recently, a friend attended a conference on Sino-American relations in Singapore. He perceptively remarked that, amid all the talk of rising tension, no one seemed to dare to mention why countries around the world are getting wary of China. Although there are plenty of reasons to highlight systemic causes for tension between a declining United […]

Hedley Bull’s downside of nuclear deterrence: not so stable after all

Students of International Relations are probably familiar with the concept of nuclear deterrence so loved by especially neorealism. Simply put, the utter and complete destruction that today’s nuclear weapons are capable of, combined with second-strike capabilities, they say, create stability in the international system. Because attacking a nuclear power is too costly, no state will […]