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Power Shifts

Power Shifts investigates claims that across the world power is moving: particularly from the US to China, from West to East, and from states to non-state actors.

Through multidisciplinary collaborations the project seeks to understand the basis of power in the international system, the context in which power operates, and how power may transition from one actor to another.

Why Power Shifts?

The project comes from power shifts emerging as a consistent theme in IDEAS regional research programmes. Across several of the former IDEAS regional programmes such as the Transatlantic Programme and the East Asia Programme, now IGA centres, the importance of changes in global power became clear. 

This is reflected in IDEAS reports that explored Power Shifts including The United States after Unipolarity, After the Arab Spring: Power Shift in the Middle East?, Europe in an Asia Century and the rise of new powers such as Turkey's Global Strategy, China's Geoeconomic Strategy, and The New Geopolitics of Southeast Asia

The project brings together the relevant research expertise of academics associated with IDEAS on the issue: including IDEAS Director Michael Cox, Nicholas Kitchen’s work on structural power and the impact of power diffusion, and Danny Quah's theory of a global centre of economic power moving eastward. 

Churchill 2015

Churchill 2015As part of Power Shifts, IDEAS is taking part in Churchill 2015: a 21st century statesmanship programme that commemorates Churchill’s legacy by identifying and analysing key strategic issues.  

We are joining other leading academic organisations in convening eminent international panels to discuss a global-strategic theme and produce an analytical report. 

Our strategic theme is ‘Power in the 21st Century’, looking at how power is shifting, diffusing and decaying in the modern world from ‘smart power’ to digital power.

Find out more.

Asia Rising Lecture Series 

In 2014 Power Shifts hosted a series of public lectures on the questions raised by rising Asian powers.

Rising Asia: Lessons Learned From European Integration

Economic and political integration is high on the agenda in Asia, in ASEAN and more widely. 

Professor Simon Hix (LSE Department of Government) discusses what can Asia learn from the process of integration in Europe: from the institutional design of the European single market, to the Euro crisis and how the Eurozone has tried to solve it?


An American Century or an Asian Century?

Will the future belong to the new rising powers of Asia revolving around a Chinese economic power-house or the transatlantic powers led by the United States?  

John Ikenberry (Princeton University), Michael Cox (IDEAS Director) and Kirsten Schulze (IDEAS) discuss how the answer may be more complex. 


Will China Dominate the 21st Century?

Jonathan Fenby (China Director, Trusted Sources), Wu Jian Min (Former Chinese Ambassador) and Isabel Hilton (Editor, China Dialogue and former BBC Radio 4 Presenter) assess China’s future and put the country’s progress into an international perspective. 


US Foreign Policy Conference

In September 2014, leading thinkers descended on the LSE for the US Foreign Policy Conference, co-hosted by IDEAS and the LSE International Relations Department. 

A key theme was whether shifts in economic power are eroding American hegemony; but the story of how power shifts turns out to be more complex than the rise and decline narrative of many contemporary pundits. 

Hear speakers from the Conference share their perspective on the changing shape of power in the international system and the implications for US foreign policy in this video

To get involved in the Power Shifts Project, please contact us.

Japan US Pivot