Toronto, ON: Western International Order from the Centre for Geopolitics
Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 5.30pm to 7.30pm EDT
You are invited to Threats to Western International Order – The Return of Peer Competition, a thought-provoking event brought to you by the University of Cambridge Centre for Geopolitics. This event is hosted by Cambridge in America and the CAm Toronto Regional Committee.
The international order faces unprecedented turbulence not just from non-state actors, complex emergencies and migration, but also and especially from great power competition. Against this background, the Directors of the Cambridge University Centre for Geopolitics, Professors Brendan Simms and William Hurst will speak to the Centre’s work. This includes research into Chinese politics and foreign policy under Xi Xinping, the tense situation in the South China Sea and across the Taiwan Strait, Sino-Iranian relations, US-China relations across time and issue areas, the challenge of Russian aggression in the Baltic Sea Region, and peace-building in the Middle East.
They will also describe the outreach they have conducted with government and the connections they have made between academe, students and government. In closing, they will address areas in which the Centre hopes to expand its reach and offerings further and outline ways attendees can become and stay engaged with the Centre’s work and research output.
We look forward to seeing you!
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Brendan Simms is Professor of the History of European International Relations and Director of the Forum on Geopolitics at the University of Cambridge. He is also founder and President of the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think-tank devoted to the spread of democracy and human rights worldwide, and President of the Munich-based start-up think tank Project for Democratic Union, which seeks to establish a single Eurozone state on the lines of the Anglo-American unions. His publications, which have been translated into many languages, European and non-European, include Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, from 1453 to the Present (Penguin Press, 2013), Britain's Europe: A Thousand Years of Conflict and Cooperation (Penguin Press, 2016) and (with Benjamin Zeeb) Europe on the brink: A plea for a United States of Europe (C.H. Beck, 2016), Hitler: Only the World Was Enough (Penguin Press, 2019), and (together with Charlie Laderman) Hitler's American Gamble: Pearl Harbor and Germany’s March to Global War (Penguin Press, 2021). His next book (together with Steve McGregor) is The Silver Waterfall: How America Won the War in the Pacific at Midway (Public Affairs, 2020). His current concern is how to establish a new order for the continent after Brexit which recognises both Britain’s power and her interest in the success of the European integration project.
William Hurst is Chong Hua Professor of Chinese Development in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) and Deputy Director at the Centre for Geopolitics. Bill received his PhD in 2005 from the University of California-Berkeley and, following two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Oxford, held tenured or tenure-track posts at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Toronto, and Northwestern University, in addition to a fellowship at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, before coming to Cambridge in January 2021.
At the Centre for Geopolitics, he will help coordinate many aspects of research, activities, and events on the Indo-Pacific. His own research in this area is especially concentrated on Chinese foreign policy, international relations, and evolving role in the world, as well as the broader politics of the South China Sea and Southeast Asia in general. In particular, Bill is interested in the interaction of domestic politics and international structural factors in shaping the ways in which states approach different aspects of their relations (e.g. pertaining to trade, security, or the exchange of people or ideas) with other countries. He is working on two large projects growing out of these themes – the first on the history and politics of the South China Sea, the second – a co-authored work – on US-China relations since 1900. Both look over long spans of history to foreground the ways in which domestic social cleavages and political coalitions and leadership machinations influence certain types of relationships, while structural dimensions of the world or regional order help determine others.
Outside of his work on international relations, Bill has long-running and ongoing interests in political economy, the politics of development, law and society, and urban politics, as well as social movements and contentious politics. He continues to pursue research on these in China, Indonesia, and other countries. His first book, The Chinese Worker after Socialism (Cambridge 2009), explored the politics of more than 35 million workers laid off from Chinese state-owned enterprises in the 1990s and 2000s, based on extensive interviews and field research in nine different cities. His second book, Ruling Before the Law: the Politics of Legal Regimes in China and Indonesia (Cambridge 2018), was the first major monograph to compare the world’s largest and fourth largest countries and the most comprehensive work in decades on either country’s legal system at the grassroots. He is currently at work on a book explaining the dynamics of land politics, the political economy of state formation, and the long-run implications of dramatic change and critical bargains struck in the 1950s and 1960s in China, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Malaysia. Besides these books, he’s also published a wide array of edited volumes, articles, chapters, essays, op-eds, and the like.
Centre for Geopolitics is an interdisciplinary space created by leading academics to consider, within their historical contexts, the world's most pressing geopolitical questions.
The Centre seeks to deepen the study of grand strategy and statecraft at the University of Cambridge, offer innovative opportunities for collaboration with practitioners and deliver impactful engagement with the wider world.