Thucydides' Other 'Traps': The United States, China, and the Prospect of 'Inevitable' War [open pdf - 780KB]
From the Introduction: "The notion of a 'Thucydides Trap' that will ensnare China and the United States in a 21st-century conflict--much as the rising power of Athens alarmed Sparta and made war 'inevitable' between the Aegean superpowers of the 5th century BCE [before the common era]--has received global attention since entering the international relations lexicon 6 years ago. Scholars, journalists, bloggers, and politicians in many countries, notably China, have embraced this beguiling metaphor, coined by Harvard political science professor Graham Allison, as a framework for examining the likelihood of a Sino-American war. As Allison summarizes the concept, 'When a rising power threatens to displace a ruling power, alarm bells should sound, extreme danger ahead. This is a big insight earned for us by Thucydides. And Thucydides said, famously, it was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable. This was the war between Athens and Sparta that basically destroyed classical Greece'."
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