Future-forming interdisciplinary research

Are the US and China destined for war?


Global Futures, PPR, FASS & Confucius Institute Seminar 2017

LEC Training Rooms 1&2

Wednesday 15 November 2017, 16.00 – 18.00

Are the US and China destined to fall into a “Thucydides trap” of power transitions leading to great power conflict? This study explores the psychological processes that underlie US-China relations today. In two randomized online experiments, we manipulated ordinary Americans’ perceptions of US-China relations with real CNN video clips that framed a possible US-China power transition as either positive or zero-sum. Across both experiments, more zero-sum news reports heightened perceptions of US-China competition, increasing intergroup mistrust, anger, and desires for a tougher China policy. Study 2 both replicated these findings and revealed that individual differences in nationalism and uncertainty avoidance moderated the effects of media framings on mistrust and anger. These experimental results provide insights into the psychological mechanisms linking structural changes in the balance of power to the individual-level processes that determine great power war and peace.

Peter Hays Gries is Professor of Chinese Politics at the University of Manchester. He studies the political psychology of international affairs, with a focus on Chinese and American foreign policy. He is author of The Politics of American Foreign Policy: How Ideology Divides Liberals and Conservatives over Foreign Affairs (Stanford, 2014) and China’s New Nationalism: Pride,  politics, and Diplomacy (California, 2004), and co-editor of Chinese Politics (Routledge, 2010) and State and Society in 21st-Century China (Routledge, 2004).

For those who want to, we will regroup, glass in hand, to discuss what all this means for us personally and our institutions, including the University. The event will bring together people from across the University, Lancaster city and the local area, so that the question can be explored from fresh angles in a lively but relaxed setting. We look forward to seeing you there.
For catering purposes please let us know if you will be attending the event by emailing isf@lancaster.ac.uk

All Welcome

Peter is very interested in meeting other faculty with an interest in China.  LU colleagues wishing to meet up with Peter earlier in the day, please contact Dr. Astrid Nordin,  a.nordin@lancaster.ac.uk / +44 (0)1524 592422



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