Rising Powers

Recent attention in both the scholarly and national security communities highlight the dangers to the current American international order posed by certain rising challengers, with consequences for liberal values like human rights and democracy, an erosion in the stability of international trade, and even the potential for major power war. 

The rules of international conduct that have come to govern international political practices, from the laws of armed conflict to expected behaviors surrounding nuclear deterrence, are under threat. 

Scholars will explore the destabilizing potential of such rising powers such as China, India, Brazil, or a politically united Europe, by examining lessons of past historical transitions and exploring the origins of rising powers’ strength in their internal politics and economics. 

Through taking a more holistic view of rising challengers by an interdisciplinary group of well-known scholar presentations in four panels, the conference will:

  • Examine the history surrounding the rise of past global challengers, particularly the British decline and the Cold War.
  • Identify the sources of power in population and development
  • Apply these lessons to the contemporary international political landscape
  • Outline the national security consequences of these lessons, generating informed debates about the future of American grand strategy

Partners for this conference include the Adams Center, Center for Leadership & Ethics, Dean’s Office, Department of International Studies, and the Department of History.


Schedule

Monday, November 15, 2021

TimeEvent
8 - 8:45 AM Registration
Breakfast (continental)
8:45 - 9 AM Opening Remarks
9 - 10:45 AM PANEL 1: Historical Examination of Rising Powers
10:45 - 11 AM BREAK
11 AM - 12:45 PM PANEL 2: Sources of Power in Demography and Development
12:45 - 2 PM LUNCH
2 - 3:45 PM PANEL 3: Rising Powers in the Twentieth Century
3:45 - 4 PM BREAK
4 - 5:30 PM PANEL 4: American Grand Strategy: Looking Forward
5:30 - 5:45 PM Closing Remarks

 

Registration Is Open

Registration for this exciting new conference is now open, please see our registration form and secure your spot today!

Rising Powers Online Registration Form


 Panel 1: Historical Examinations of Rising Powers

Time: 9:00 - 10:45 a.m.

Barton Myers (Washington and Lee University) - “Colonel Emory Upton's Military Policy of the United States and the Origins of Pre-World War One U.S. Army Reform”

Will Walldorf (Wake Forest University) – “How Strategic Narratives Shape U.S. Grand Strategy toward Rising Powers”

William R. Thompson (Indiana University) – “Rising Powers and the Etiology of Systemic Wars”

Scott Silverstone (United States Military Academy) – “What ‘Thucydides Trap’? Challenging Conventional Interpretations of Preventative War and the Ancient Greeks”

 

 Panel 2: Sources of Power in Demography and Development

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Jennifer Sciubba (Center for Strategic and International Security) and Manjari Chatterjee Miller (Boston University) – “Region on the Rise: The Role of Population in Power, Peace, and Prosperity in South Asia”

Thomas J. Volgy, Kelly Gordell, and Rachel Van Nostrand (University of Arizona) – “Rising Powers: Which Powers are Moving toward the Major Power Club and are They Challengers to the Liberal World Order?”

Mark Haas (Duquesne University) – “Population Aging and Grand Strategy”

Ketian Zhang (George Mason University) – “Patriots of Diverse Characteristics: Deconstructing China’s Anti-Japan Protests” 

 

 Panel 3: Rising Powers in the Twentieth Century

Time: 2:00 - 3:45 p.m.

Michelle Benson, Chhandosi Roy, Chris Newton (University at Buffalo), and Jacek Kugler (Claremont Graduate University) – “Power, Satisfaction, and War”

Evan Montgomery (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments)

 

 Panel 4: American Grand Strategy: Looking Forward

Time: 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Jacek Kugler (Claremont Graduate University) and Ronald Tammen (Portland State University) – “Russia: From Global Challenger to Vassal Status”

Haider Khan (University of Denver) - “Avoiding Thucydides’s Trap”

Jon DiCicco (Middle Tennessee State University) – “Great Power Competition, Regional Orders, and Restraint: Peering over the Horizon"

  


Event Location

Learn about Marshall Hall, home of the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics, and the main location for this conference:

Marshall Hall Facility


Area Information and Directions

About Virginia Military Institute

Virginia Military Institute is the nation’s oldest state-supported military college. VMI offers a rigorous co-ed undergraduate education with majors in engineering, science, liberal arts, and social sciences.

Conference activities will be held in Marshall Hall, home to VMI’s Center for Leadership and Ethics.  The facility is named in honor of Gen. George C. Marshall, VMI class of 1901, hailed by Winston Churchill as the “organizer of victory” for his leadership of the Allied victory in World War II.

For handicapped accessibility or other assistance contact Derek Pinkham at 540-464-7582.

About Lexington and Rockbridge County

Lexington is a small town full of history and culture, as well as amenities for business travelers attending conferences and symposia. Information on all that Lexington has to offer, including lodging, may be found at the Lexington and Rockbridge Area Tourism site.

Lexington, Virginia  Ranks #5 in USA TODAY’s 2017 poll of “Best Southern Small Town” — and the only place in Virginia on the list.

Directions

Traveling North on I-81, exit at 188-B
Take exit 188-B (60 West) and proceed to Lexington (a couple of miles). Turn right on Main St (which is one way north at this point). Immediately move into the left lane. After two blocks you will be forced to turn left onto Jefferson St (one way south). Immediately move into the right lane and then turn right onto Letcher Avenue. Proceed on Letcher until you enter VMI.

Traveling South on I-81, exit at 195
Take exit 195 and turn right at the end of the exit ramp (11 South). Proceed south on 11 to Lexington (about 5 miles). Follow the signs to downtown Lexington (11 business . . . Main Street). Main Street will split and become Jefferson Street (one way south). Immediately turn right onto Letcher Avenue. Proceed on Letcher until you enter VMI.

 

Hotel Listings

Best Western Plus Inn at Hunt Ridge

25 Willow Springs Road
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 464-1500

Call Hotel Directly to Make Your Reservation

View website only to check accommodations

Comfort Inn Virginia Horse Center

62 Comfort Way
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 463-7311

Call Hotel Directly to Make Your Reservation

View website only to check accommodations

Country Inn & Suites

875 N Lee Highway
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 464-9000

Call Hotel Directly to Make Your Reservation

View website only to check accommodations

Hampton Inn Col Alto

401 E. Nelson Street
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 464-7740

Call Hotel Directly to Make Your Reservation

View website only to check accommodations

Maple Hall Inn

3111 N. Lee Highway
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 463-6693

Call Inn Directly to Make Your Reservation

View website only to check accommodations

Sleep Inn & Suites

95 Maury River Road
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 463-6000

Call Hotel Directly to Make Your Reservation

View website only to check accommodations