Understanding the Emerging Era of International Competition: Theoretical and Historical Perspectives



Michael J. Mazarr et al. | Rand Corporation


■ The emerging competition is not generalized but likely to be most intense between a handful of specific states.

■ The hinge point of the competition will be the relationship between the architect of the rules-based order (the United States) and the leading revisionist peer competitor that is involved in the most specific disputes (China).

■ Global patterns of competition are likely to be complex and diverse, with distinct types of competition prevailing in different issue areas.

■ Managing the escalation of regional rivalries and conflicts is likely to be a major focus of U.S. statecraft.

■ Currently, the competition seems largely focused on status grievances or ambitions, economic prosperity, technological advantage, and regional influence.

■ The competition is likely to be most intense and persistent in nonmilitary areas of national advantage.

■ The postwar multilateral order provides the framework in which the emerging competition will unfold.

■ Two obvious flashpoints for the emerging competition lie in regional territorial and influence claims.

■ The emerging era is likely to involve a drawn-out combination of contestation, competition, and cooperation.

Understanding the Emerging Era of International Competition

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