The Challenge to US Hegemony


Course Description

When a rising power threatens to displace a ruling one, history tells us that the most likely outcome is war. It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable, according to the Greek historian Thucydides. This so-called inevitability is now known as the Thucydides Trap. In today’s world, a rapidly rising economic power, China, is already challenging US economic supremacy, and is testing the reach of US military hegemony through its actions in the South China Sea.

In Destined for War, author Graham Allison examines 16 occasions over the last 1500 years where the threat extending from a rising power led in most cases to war. We will study some of the cases that led to war, and also some that through the use of imaginative statecraft did not lead to war. Can the leaders of China and the US appreciate the lessons of the past so as to avert war? Will they recognize the actions that could lead to a Cold War or a real war?

Please note, that all courses have a maximum enrollment of 18 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note that we do not allow participants to audit courses for free.

Course Details

First Session: Tuesday, April 2nd 2019

Course Length: 12 weeks, Tuesday, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

Discussion Team: Tony Rustin, Pam Butler and Greg Peace

Course Fee: 

$150.00 (tuition fee)

$100.00 (promotion for new students)

Reading and Administration Fee:



$185.00 (tuition fee)

$135.00 (promotion for new students)


NOTE: Reading Fees are included in the total price of the course.

Please note, degree students must schedule an appointment with the Admissions and Accreditation Committee to register for courses for this term. Degree students should not register online.

The course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, an administrative fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session.

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