Super Continent: The Logic of Eurasian Integration, with Kent Calder (Dec. 4, 2020)

Kent E. Calder

School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Friday, December 4, 2020, 9:00 AM (EST) via Zoom

Explore the growing relationship between China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and

Eurasian continentalism

Eurasian transformation is underway, and it flows from China. With a geopolitically central location, the country’s domestic and international policies are poised to change the face of global affairs. The Belt and Road Initiative has called attention to a deepening Eurasian continentalism that has, argues Kent Calder, much more significant implications than have yet been recognized. In Super Continent, Calder presents a theoretically guided and empirically grounded explanation for these changes. He shows that key inflection points, beginning with the Four Modernizations and the collapse of the Soviet Union; and culminating in China’s response to the Global Financial Crisis and Crimea’s annexation, are triggering tectonic shifts. Furthermore, understanding China’s emerging regional and global roles involves comprehending two ongoing transformations—within China and across Eurasia as a whole—and that the two are profoundly interrelated. Calder underlines that the geo-economic logic that prevailed across Eurasia before Columbus, and that made the Silk Road a central thoroughfare of world affairs for close to two millennia, is reasserting itself once again. [From the Stanford University Press website ]

Discussant: Min YE (Associate Professor of International Relations, Boston University)

Moderator: William Grimes (Professor of International Relations and Political Science, Boston University)

This event is sponsored by the BU Center for the Study of Asia as part of the ongoing Pardee School of Global Studies cross-center initiative at Boston University, Assessing China’s Belt and Road Initiative, coordinated by Dr. Grant F. Rhode (BU Center for the Study of Asia)

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About the author:

Kent E. Calder serves as the Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies. He previously served as Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and International Research Cooperation at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) from 2018 to 2020 and as Director of Asia Programs from 2016 to 2018. Before arriving at Johns Hopkins SAIS in 2003, Calder served as Special Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Professor at Princeton University, Lecturer on Government at Harvard, and as the first Executive Director of Harvard University’s Program on US-Japan Relations. Calder received his PhD from Harvard University in 1979, where he worked under the direction of Edwin O. Reischauer. A specialist in East Asian political economy, he has spent eleven years living and researching in Japan and four years elsewhere in East Asia. In 2014, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon. Calder’s most recent works include Super Continent: The Logic of Eurasian Integration (Stanford, 2019); Circles of Compensation: Economic Growth and the Globalization of Japan (Stanford, 2017); Singapore: Smart City, Smart State (Brookings, 2017); Asia in Washington (Brookings, 2014); and The New Continentalism: Energy and Twenty-First Century Eurasian Geopolitics (Yale, 2012). 

















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