The “Thucydides Trap” Does Not Explain Geopolitics

Richard Hanania in his Substack newsletter:

When I discuss the US-China relationship with people, I’ve found that they often turn to the concept of the “Thucydides Trap.” It seems as if few international relations books in the last decade have had as much influence as Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? by Graham Allison, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense under Clinton and a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School. Here is the number of Google Scholar mentions I find for “Thucydides(‘s) Trap” and “China” in the same work from 1990 to 2019.

It’s a deeply unimpressive book though. Take a look at the blurbs on Amazon, and then actually read it if you want to understand the hollowness of the kinds of arguments that are used as justification for the American global empire. Allison receives praise from Kissinger, Biden, Petraeus, Michael Hayden, Ban-Ki Moon, Samantha Power, and even Klaus Schwab, who I once thought was a Twitter meme but is apparently also a real person (in their defense, I’m sure almost none of them read it).

More here.