Thucydides's Trap: W5

Thucydides's trap is a geopolitical theory based on an inevitable conflict due to competition and power dominance.

Who? Which countries?

  • USA & alliances/allies
  • China & alliances/allies

Why would this occur?

  • Power Shifts
  • Competition for Resources
  • Security Dilemma such as arms race
  • Nationalism and Identity historical grievances
  • Ideological Differences liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes influence/values
  • Historical Precedents maybe a self-fulfilling prophecy

Where would this take place?

  • Taiwan - territory of China or an independent nation
  • Asia-Pacific Region such as the South China Sea and territorial disputes, military build-ups, and competition for influence among regional countries
  • Indo-Pacific Region issues can arise with China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, South Korea, and Japan
  • Trade and Economic Sphere issues in areas of investment, technology, trade disputes, sanctions, and protectionist measures
  • Cyberspace espionage, attacks on critical infrastructure, efforts to control information, creating mistrust and instability

Who would be the players in the Thucydides's trap?

  • U.S.A./North America - Europe, East Asia (e.g., Japan, South Korea)
  • China's partners include Africa, Russia, Latin America, and Asia
  • United Nations, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, and others have a stake in managing conflicts and promoting cooperation
  • multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, terrorist groups, and cybercriminals, can also impact on the Thucydides's trap

When would Thucydides's trap happen?

  • Specific events, such as territorial disputes, military incidents, or economic crises, could serve as triggers
  • Failed diplomatic initiatives, multilateral negotiations, and conflict resolution mechanisms
  • actions and decisions of political leaders, shifts in foreign policy priorities escalate tensions
  • trade imbalances, financial instability, or resource scarcity, economic downturns or crises
  • speed and magnitude of the power shift between the rising power (e.g., China) and the established power (e.g., the United States). Rapid changes in economic, technological, and military capabilities could accelerate the onset of conflict.

Consistent analysis of strategic interactions between key countries, and efforts to promote dialogue, cooperation, trust, sharing wealth and resources can help reduce the risks and prevent Thucydides's trap.

More from Numerous Narratives
All posts