Ho-fung Hung: HEGEMONIC TRANSITION? "America's Decline" and "China's Rise" in Historical Perspective

Monday, October 14, 2013 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall


The US has been projected by many as a declining global hegemon since the 1970s. Despite such decline, US military supremacy and its capability in defining the global economic orthodoxy remained formidable. This staying power of the US stems in large part from the “dollar standard” in the world economy. The state-led and export-oriented development of China has been a significant supporter of the dollar standard in the last decade, despite the widespread expectation that China’s rise could end the US-centered global order. This US-China collusion brings economic imbalances, social  crises and political dilemmas within China as much as in the US. Whether China could overcome the vested interests and socio-political risks to shift to a more egalitarian and household-consumption-driven pattern of development will be crucial in shaping the future of the global dollar standard, and hence the future of US global power.  

Ho-fung Hung is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of the awards-winning Protest with Chinese Characteristics.  His articles appeared in American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, New Left Review,  Review of International Political Economy, Asian Survey, etc. , and won best paper awards from five different sections of the American Sociological Association and from Switzerland’s World Society Foundation. His analyses on Chinese political economy have been featured or cited in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC News, The Guardian, Folha de S. Paulo (Brazil) and Xinhua Monthly (China), among others. He is currently finishing a book manuscript tentatively titled Development of Capitalism in China: Historical Origins, Global Impacts, and