John Mearsheimer: Great Powers, U.S. Hegemony, and the Rise of China — #13

John Mearsheimer is best known for developing the theory of offensive realism, which describes the interaction between great powers as being primarily driven by the rational desire to achieve regional hegemony.

This interview with John Mearsheimer was conducted in 2020 on the original Manifold podcast with Corey Washington and Steve Hsu. Parts of the conversation are prescient with respect to US-China relations and the situation in Ukraine.

John Joseph Mearsheimer is an American political scientist and international relations scholar, who belongs to the realist school of thought. He is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He has been described as the most influential realist of his generation.

Mearsheimer is best known for developing the theory of offensive realism, which describes the interaction between great powers as being primarily driven by the rational desire to achieve regional hegemony in an anarchic international system. In accordance with his theory, Mearsheimer believes that China's growing power will likely bring it into conflict with the United States.

Steve, Corey, and John discuss:

0:00 A quick message for listeners
1:21 Introduction
2:39 Realist foreign policy worldview
15:46 Proxy conflicts and the U.S.
21:31 U.S. history: a moral hegemon, or just a hegemon? Zinn and Chomsky
29:50 U.S.-China relationship, competing hegemonies?
36:44 Will Europe become more united?
41:23 China’s ambitions
46:12 Europe’s fragmentation and population trends
47:57 What drove U.S. interventions after the Cold War?
51:36 Coalitions and U.S.-China competition

Resources:

John Mearsheimer - https://www.mearsheimer.com/

The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities - https://www.amazon.com/Great-Delusion-Liberal-International-Realities-ebook/dp/B07H3XRPQS



Music used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.


Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.

Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
© 2022 Steve Hsu