9 Items

Chinese President Xi Jinping is displayed on a big screen in Beijing as Chinese battle tanks roll by during a Sept. 3, 2015 parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II.

(AP Photo)

Magazine Article - The Atlantic

The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

| September 24, 2015

The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant dangers when a rising power rivals a ruling power—as Athens challenged Sparta in ancient Greece, or as Germany did Britain a century ago. Most such contests have ended badly, often for both nations, a team of mine at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has concluded after analyzing the historical record. In 12 of 16 cases over the past 500 years, the result was war. When the parties avoided war, it required huge, painful adjustments in attitudes and actions on the part not just of the challenger but also the challenged.

A reflection of the Singapore financial district is cast on the waters of a reservoir in Singapore Thursday, May 28, 2015. Singapore celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence Aug. 9.

(AP Photo)

Analysis & Opinions - The World Post

Singapore Challenges the Idea That Democracy Is the Best Form of Governance

| August 5, 2015

The American Declaration of Independence asserts that "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are fundamental, unalienable rights of all human beings -- endowed to us by our Creator. According to the Declaration, the primary purpose of government is to establish conditions in which citizens can realize these goals. In comparing governments, it is appropriate to ask how each is performing by these yardsticks.

As it celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding under the late Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore is a marvel to behold and applaud. But its success also poses uncomfortable questions for those of us who "know" that Western-style democracy is the best form of government.

teaser image

Analysis & Opinions - Caixin.com

Lee Kuan Yew: The Sage of Asia

| March 28, 2015

The death of Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of Singapore, is an occasion for reflection. Lee, who died Monday, was more than just his country's founding father. He did not just raise a poor, notoriously corrupt port city from the bottom rungs of the Third World to a modern First World state (with clean streets and clean government) in a single generation. He was also one of only two true grand masters of international strategy in the last half century (Henry Kissinger being the other), and a wise counselor to the leaders of the world.  (NOTE: This commentary was published by Caixin in Chinese. This is a Belfer Center English translation.)

Analysis & Opinions - The Atlantic

The Lee Kuan Yew Conundrum

| March 30, 2015

Washington, D.C., is fast becoming an acronym for “Dysfunctional Capital.” Singapore, in contrast, has become the poster child for “the concept of good governance,” to quote the Financial Times’s obituary for the country’s longtime leader, Lee Kuan Yew, who was laid to rest on Sunday. For Americans in particular, this contrast presents a conundrum. On the one hand, Americans hold as a self-evident truth that their democracy is the best form of government. On the other hand, they see mounting evidence daily of Washington’s gridlock, corruption, and theatrical distractions, which makes their system seem incapable of addressing the country’s real challenges.

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Graham Allison Discusses his book on Lee Kuan Yew at Cambridge Forum

| October 23, 2013

Belfer Center Director Graham Allison discussed his book Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World at a Cambridge Forum in Harvard Square on October 21. The public event also was broadcast by National Public Radio stations across the country.

Book - MIT Press

Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World

| February 2013

When Lee Kuan Yew speaks, presidents, prime ministers, diplomats, and CEOs listen. Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore and its prime minister from 1959 to 1990, has honed his wisdom during more than fifty years on the world stage. Almost single-handedly responsible for transforming Singapore into a Western-style economic success, he offers a unique perspective on the geopolitics of East and West. This book gathers key insights from interviews, speeches, and Lee's voluminous published writings and presents them in an engaging question and answer format.