Universiteit Leiden

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An International Rule-Based Order and China in the Global Arena

Monday 1 May 2023
Leiden University College
301 Anna van Buerenplein
2595 DG Den Haag
Auditorium - 2.21

An International Rule-Based Order and China in the Global Arena

According to many scholars in Sino-American studies, the US has developed a consistent viewpoint that China seeks to overturn the rules-based order and replace it with a Sinocentric order. However, the US view is of course, open to challenge. This lecture will reflect on the question “Is there an international rule-based order and is China violating it?” Our guest speaker, Michael Swaine will reflect on several sub-questions to this end: 

  • Do we have a clearly defined international rules-based order, and if so, what is it? 
  • Is China really opposed to this order or has it in fact benefitted from it in many ways? 
  • If China is not seeking to overturn the order, what is it trying to do?

After the lecture, there will be a Q&A and reflections will be given by Jay Huang, Assistant Professor of International Relations and Vera Kranenburg, Junior Researcher at the Clingendael China Centre.

About the Speaker

Michael D. Swaine is one of the most prominent American scholars of Chinese security studies. He currently works at the Qunicy Institute for Responsible Statecraft (QI) as a senior research fellow. Before arriving at QI, Swaine was at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he worked for nearly twenty years as a senior fellow specializing in Chinese defense and foreign policy, U.S.-China relations, and East Asian international relations. Swaine served as a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. 

Swaine has authored and edited more than a dozen books and monographs, including Remaining Aligned on the Challenges Facing Taiwan (with Ryo Sahashi; 2019), Conflict and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region: A Strategic Net Assessment (with Nicholas Eberstadt et al; 2015) and many journal articles and book chapters. 

For nearly two decades, Swaine directed, along with Iain Johnston of Harvard University, a multi-year crisis prevention project with Chinese partners. He also advises the US government on Asian security issues. 

Swaine received his doctorate in government from Harvard University and his bachelor’s degree from George Washington University. He speaks Mandarin and Japanese.

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