KSI Manuscript Review for Xinru Ma and David Kang: "Power Transitions and the Lessons of East Asian History"

Friday, November 5 at 9:00am to 12:00pm

This is a past event.

Ahn House (AHN)
809 West 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089

USC faculty and graduate students are invited to a manuscript review for Xinru Ma (National University of Singapore) and David C. Kang's (USC) forthcoming book from Columbia University Press:  "Power Transitions and the Lessons of East Asian History: Internal troubles, external threats, and the future of US-China relations."

Faculty and graduate students must RSVP online by October 5th and will get a copy of the manuscript. Please note that we ask all attendees to read the entire manuscript ahead of time and to actively engage in the discussion.

"Is a war between China and the U.S. possible or even likely as a power transition draws near? By far, the most commonly examined case studies of power transition in the scholarly literature are the Peloponnesian War and the rise of Germany under Bismarck and Anglo-German rivalry of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Almost none of the scholarship on power transitions begins and ends with exploring East Asia itself. The strategy seems to be: get Europe right in order to get Asia right. In this book, we address the issue of selection bias in the choice of empirical cases to test in the power transition literature, and examine four important cases from East Asian history, such as the Mongol conquest of Song China or the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592. The lessons of East Asian history emphasize domestic risks and constraints on great powers, rather than the rise and decline of great powers relative to each other. This has implications for both the universality of the current power transition theory, as well as the contours of US-China relations in the 21st century."

External discussants will include Stacie Goddard (Wellesley) and Scott Wolford (UT Austin).

The Korean Studies manuscript review program is designed to provide helpful and timely feedback to faculty preparing monographs or other similarly large academic works prior to submission for publication. The core of the program is the manuscript review seminar. Rather than simply requesting individual reviewers to provide comments on the work, the KSI organizes a review seminar in which all the reviewers and the author can interact with each other and respond to each other's comments in order to collectively devise strategies for strengthening the final text. The only stipulation for attending the review seminar is a commitment to read the entire manuscript that is under review – this will maximize thoughtful and helpful discussion. As an endeavor in collegial constructive criticism, the review seminar represents the best of the academic enterprises.

Event Type

Lecture / Talk / Workshop


Students, Faculty/Staff


University Park Campus



Korean Studies Institute (KSI)
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