Elliott School Book Launch Series

US-China Relations:
Perilous Past, Uncertain Present

Book cover of "US - China Relations" by Robert G. Sutter


Congress, Ukraine and US Hardening Against China

The extensively revised fourth edition of Sutter’s major text "US-China Relations: Perilous Past, Uncertain Present" explains in detail the critical role of American domestic politics in hardening US policy toward China over the past five years. Bi-partisan majorities in Congress seek to defend America against an onslaught of malign Chinese government advances in broad areas of international security, economic statecraft and global governance. Congress exerts unprecedented influence on US China policy. The bi-partisan majorities are much steadier than erratic Donald Trump and Joseph Biden shifting from past disparaging China’s threat to a current tough posture in line with congressional majorities.

Sutter will discuss these findings, reinforced by China’s recent support for Russia in the Ukraine war, as well as some important shortcomings in current American strategy toward China. The event will open with remarks by Dean Ayres, followed by a lecture by Professor Sutter, commentary by Dr. Tai, and a moderated live Q&A with the audience.

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Past Launches

Challenges of Tech and Econ Catch-Up book cover

January 18, 2022

In Catastrophic Success, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Alexander Downes compiles all instances of regime change around the world over the past two centuries. Drawing on this impressive data set, Downes shows that regime change increases the likelihood of civil war and violent leader removal in target states and fails to reduce the probability of conflict between intervening states and their targets.

Vonortas Book Cover

November 30, 2021

In his latest book, Professor of Economics and International Affairs Nicholas Vonortas synthesized the existing knowledge on technology upgrading failures among emerging economies. By exploring this phenomenon at the firm, sector, and macro levels, he emphasizes the importance of understanding multi-dimensional challenges such as COVID-19, geopolitical struggles, and environmental sustainability.

Lumbering State book cover

November 18, 2021

In his latest book, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Nathan Brown analyzed crucial developments in Egyptian politics, society, and economics from the 20th century to the present day. Audience questions flew in during the hour-long virtual event on the interactions between regime, state, military, diaspora and civilians.

Microfoundations of Diaspora Politics book cover

October 28, 2021

How are diasporas formed and run? And how do actors within and beyond a state shape diasporas over time? Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Harris Mylonas of the ESIA and Associate Professor of Global Studies Alexandra Délano Alonso of the New School explored the various actors within and beyond the state that participate in the creation of diaspora policies.

China's Leaders book cover

October 15, 2021

In China's Leaders: From Mao to Now, renowned Sinologist David Shambaugh offers a refreshing account of China’s dramatic post-revolutionary history through the prism of those who ruled it. Exploring the persona, formative socialization, psychology, and professional experiences of each leader, he shows how their differing leadership styles and ruling tactics shaped China domestically and internationally. 

Central Peripheries book cover

October 8, 2021

Central Peripheries explores post-Soviet Central Asia through the prism of nation-building. It shows how states in the region have been navigating the construction of a nation in a post-imperial context, where Russia remains the dominant power and cultural reference. The launch was led by Marlene Laruelle, Research Professor of International Affairs, and featured a discussion with three panelists. 

The First Vietnam War book cover

October 6, 2021

The Book Launch Series teamed up with the Sigur Center for Asian Studies to feature Professor of History and International Affairs Shawn McHale, who laid out the complex factions, motivations and events that underpinned a civil war wrapped within Vietnam's war of independence against France. 

Promoting Justice Across Borders book cover

September 23, 2021

In a talk co-sponsored by the Institute for International Economic Policy, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Lucia Rafanelli addressed the delicate interplay between a society's ideas about justice in another society, and the recipient society's capacity for self-determination.

The Cinema of Soviet Kazakhstan book cover

September 14, 2021

The Book Launch Series held a discussion on how Kazakh filmmakers struggled to develop their distinctive voices under Soviet mentorship, and how their works deserve to be rediscovered. The event featured Dr. Peter Rollberg, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professor of Slavic Languages, Film Studies and International Affairs, and was co-sponsored by the Central Asia Program

Party and the People cover

May 6, 2021

In an event co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, Professor Bruce Dickson explored how the CCP maintained control over China throughout various upheavals, by combining repressive tactics with responsiveness to the public. The subsequent Q&A with the audience was led by Alyssa Ayres, Dean of the Elliott School.

Globalizing Patient Capital cover

April 30, 2021

In a talk co-sponsored by more than six campus partners and attended by Professors Jay Shambaugh, Carol Wise and Roselyn Hsueh, Professor Stephen Kaplan explored how patient capital affects national-level governance across the Americas and beyond, including how Chinese leaders might react to developing nation’s ongoing struggles with debt and dependency.

Understanding Peacekeeping book cover

April 14, 2021

Peace operations remain a principal tool for managing armed conflict and protecting civilians. The fully revised, expanded and updated third edition of Understanding Peacekeeping by Professor Paul Williams provides a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to the theory, history, and politics of peace operations. The talk was moderated by Shirley Graham, Director of GEIA at ESIA.

Digital Pirates book cover

April 2, 2021

Drawing on his fieldwork in Brazil with pirates, musicians, activists, filmmakers, police, salesmen, technicians, policymakers, politicians, and consumers, Professor Alexander Dent argues that 21st-century capitalism creates piracy and its enforcement at the same time, producing fraught consumer experiences in Latin America and beyond.

Shakespeare & East Asia book cover

March 26, 2021

Through a detailed examination of the Russian domestic scene and the Kremlin's foreign policy rationales, Marlene Laruelle disentangles the foundation for, meaning, and validity of accusations of fascism in and around Russia. The discussion was also attended by Yoshiko Herrera, J. Paul Goode, and Anton Shekhovtsov

Where great powers meet book cover

March 11, 2021

Why has Southeast Asia become the new battleground between the United States and China? Is China's growing domination truly inevitable? How will the relationship between the two countries evolve? The Book Launch Series presented a lecture by Professor David Shambaugh on his latest book, in what was also the first school event attended by the new Dean, Dr. Alyssa Ayres

Nobody's Normal book cover

February 10, 2021

For centuries, scientists and society cast moral judgments on anyone deemed mentally ill, confining many to asylums. In his new book, Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs Roy Richard Grinker chronicles the progress and setbacks in the struggle against mental-illness stigma—from the eighteenth century to today’s high-tech economy.

Land of Strangers

January 26, 2021

At the close of the 19th century, Confucian revivalists attempted to transform and bind Xinjiang to the dominant Chinese cultural and political realm. However, the result was a profound estrangement that endures to this day. Assistant Professor of History and International Affairs Eric Schluessel explores this encounter between Chinese power and a Muslim society through the struggles of ordinary people in the oasis of Turpan.

Human Security & Agency

November 30, 2020

Scholar and policy practitioner Nilofar Sakhi examined in her book whether the development of productive power is an effective approach to human security implementation in Afghanistan. The talk was moderated by Associate Professor of History and International Affairs, Benjamin Hopkins, and co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies.

Ruling the Savage Periphery

October 14, 2020

The ESIA Book Launch Series and the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy teamed up for a talk featuring Associate Research Professor Vincent Ialenti, who spoke on his anthropological work in Finland among ecologists, as well as the importance of environmental governance and societal time-literacy. 

What Remains

September 30, 2020

The ESIA Book Launch Series and the Sigur Center for Asian Studies hosted the author, Professor Benjamin Hopkins, for a book talk moderated by Professor of History Dane Kennedy. In his book, Professor Hopkins argues that in the past, empires sought to keep the “savage” just close enough to take advantage of, creating lasting ramifications for the global nation-state order.

What Remains

March 2, 2020

In What Remains, GWU Professor of Anthropology Sarah Wagner tells us the stories of America’s missing service members and the families, scientists and communities that continue to search for them. The book would go on to win 1st prize in the Victor Turner award competition for outstanding writing in anthropology. 

China and the World book cover

February 12, 2020

Edited by Professor David Shambaugh with chapters by 15 other leading experts, this volume covers China’s contemporary relations with all regions, with other major powers, and across multiple arenas of international interactions. It also explores the sources of China’s grand strategy, how its history shapes present policies, and the impact of domestic factors on China’s external behavior. The event was co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies.

Joubin book cover

January 21, 2020

Our first book talk of the year featured Professor Alexa Alice Joubin's new book, Race: The New Critical Idiom. A concise guide offering new insights, Race addresses issues as diverse as the intersections of race and gender; race and social theory; identity, ethnicity, and migration; the concept of whiteness; the legislative and judicial markings of difference; blackness in a global context; race in the history of science, and critical race theory.

African Americans and Africa: A New History

October 22, 2019

Elliott School Associate Professor of History and International Affairs Nemata Blyden discusses this relationship between African Americans and Africa by mapping overlapping diasporas from the era of slavery to the present day in her new book African Americans & Africa: A New History.

Reclaiming Patriotism

October 1, 2019

Dr. Amitai Etzioni, University Professor and Professor of International Affairs, has released his latest book: Reclaiming Patriotism. His new book offers a hopeful and pragmatic solution to our current crisis in democracy—a patriotic movement that could have a transformative, positive impact on our foreign policy, the world order and the future of capitalism.

Ronald Reagan and the Space Frontier

January 31, 2019

Co-sponsored by the Elliott School's Space Policy Institute, this event celebrated Ronald Reagan and the Space Frontier, the newest publication from renowned historian, award-winning author, and Professor Emeritus John M. Logson. The book covered the influence of Reagan's space shuttle, international space station, and spacy policy on the world. 

Mr. X and the Pacific

October 17, 2018

The path breaking Mr. X and the Pacific began many decades ago when Adjunct Professor Paul Heer was a GW PhD candidate in the 1990s. Heer chose to bring the book home for its launch and colleagues, media, staff, and students turned out to both support the publication and better understand George Kennan's influence on American East Asia policy.