What We Are Reading Today: Leadership and the Rise of Great Powers by Yan Xuetong

What We Are Reading Today: Leadership and the Rise of Great Powers by Yan Xuetong
Updated 25 March 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Leadership and the Rise of Great Powers by Yan Xuetong

What We Are Reading Today: Leadership and the Rise of Great Powers by Yan Xuetong
  • Yan shows how rising states like China transform the international order by reshaping power distribution and norms

While work in international relations has closely examined the decline of great powers, not much attention has been paid to the question of their rise. The upward trajectory of China is a particularly puzzling case. How has it grown increasingly important in the world arena while lagging behind the US and its allies across certain sectors? 

Borrowing ideas of political determinism from ancient Chinese philosophers, Leadership and the Rise of Great Powers explains China’s expanding influence by presenting a moral-realist theory that attributes the rise and fall of nations to political leadership. Yan Xuetong shows that the stronger a rising state’s political leadership, the more likely it is to displace a prevailing state in the international system. 

Yan defines political leadership through the lens of morality, specifically the ability of a government to fulfill its domestic responsibility and maintain international strategic credibility. Examining leadership at the personal, national, and international levels. 

Yan shows how rising states like China transform the international order by reshaping power distribution and norms. Yan also considers the reasons for America’s diminishing international stature even as its economy, education system, military, political institutions, and technology hold steady. The polarization of China and the US will not result in another Cold War scenario, but their mutual distrust will ultimately drive the world center from Europe to East Asia.


THE ROUNDUP — Regional pop-culture highlights

THE ROUNDUP — Regional pop-culture highlights
Updated 15 January 2021

THE ROUNDUP — Regional pop-culture highlights

THE ROUNDUP — Regional pop-culture highlights

Reel Palestine

Dubai’s Cinema Akil once again hosts this annual celebration of Palestinian cinema. The lineup this year includes workshops, talks, live streaming of the communal Radio Al-Hara project (which began in Bethlehem and Ramallah during lockdown), and, of course, films — including regional premieres for Najwa Najar’s award-winning “Between Heaven and Earth” and Ameen Nayfeh’s acclaimed “200 Meters” (pictured).

Emel Mathlouthi

The Tunisian singer-songwriter unveiled a gorgeous cover of UK post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Rhapsody” for France TV’s “Reprise” series. Using guitar loops as the background to her stunning vocals, Mathlouthi crafted an emotive, stripped-back version of the 1988 track from the band’s “Peep Show” album.

Melo

The Moroccan rapper and singer dropped his new single last week — “9dina L’affaire.” It’s a trap song sung with Darija Arabic and French lyrics, and the title translates to “get it done,” which the rapper claims is in the spirit of the new year. “It’s all about done deals,” he said in a press release.

Saleh Al-Masry

The Egyptian photographer was one of the winners of the HIPA December Instagram contest, “Handicrafts” for this striking, beautifully composed image of an elderly lady knitting outside a family home.