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In his popular annual lecture, author, historian and journalist Gwynne Dyer will shed light on world politics, offering some reassurance – along with a healthy pinch of concern.
“The threat of a new Cold War over Ukraine, the threat of global conquest by ISIS,” Dyer explains, “are not really very big threats. But there is a growing threat of a real confrontation in Asia.
“It would be driven not by what China’s President Xi recently called the ‘Thucydides Trap’ – a rising great power inevitably clashes with a declining dominant power as the former demands a ‘place in the sun’ and the latter furiously resists demotion – but rather by the internal political dynamic in China. The Communist Party’s power is only secure while the economy is growing fast – but it cannot go on growing fast forever. China is hitting thirty years of high-speed growth right about now – and it’s already slowing down sharply. If the CP goose stops laying golden eggs and there are fifty million angry unemployed, the regime’s likeliest response will be to try to distract them with an external ‘threat.’ That could get very ugly indeed. In that case, pray for a new Cold War. It’s a lot better than a hot war, especially when there are nuclear weapons around.”
According to Dyer’s website, he “has worked as a freelance journalist, columnist, broadcaster and lecturer on international affairs for more than 20 years, but he was originally trained as an historian. Born in Newfoundland, he received degrees from Canadian, American and British universities, finishing with a Ph.D. in Military and Middle Eastern History from the University of London. He served in three navies and held academic appointments at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Oxford University before launching his twice-weekly column on international affairs, which is published by over 175 papers in some 45 countries.”
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Main Stage, Wyckham House
Admission is free. Students, staff, faculty, and the public are welcome to attend.
To learn more about Gwynne Dyer, please visit his website.