AAS Annual Meeting

China and Inner Asia Session 708

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Session 708: Roundtable: The Political Psychology of U.S.-China Relations

Organizer: Peter Gries, University of Oklahoma, USA

Discussants: Li Liu, Beijing Normal University, China; Huajian Cai, , China; Chi-yue Chiu, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Kaiping Peng, University of California, Berkeley, USA

What are the critical challenges confronting U.S.-China relations in the 21st Century? Mainstream international relations theory focuses on relative military and economic capabilities, the balance of power, and the challenges of power transition. It thus neglects the role that psychological factors play in determining whether U.S.-China relations in the 21st century will be dominated by cooperation or conflict. For instance, what impact do national identities and ideologies have on mutual mis/perceptions and policy preferences? Do different cognitive styles impact the likelihood of strategic miscalculation in U.S.-China relations? Under what conditions does increasing U.S.-China economic and security interdependence promote peace, and under what conditions does it foster hostility? And what are the psychological consequences of bilateral diplomatic events? The proposed roundtable brings together five psychologists and political scientists to discuss these questions, and the prospects for such an interdisciplinary study of U.S.-China relations. Given AAS’s broad interdisciplinary membership, discussion will focus on issues of broad interest, such as the role of cultural similarities and differences in the psychological dynamics of U.S.-China relations.