Power transition theory and the rise of China

Woosang Kim, Scott Gates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Does the rise of China inexorably anticipate the onset of global instability or even a great power war? Today, routine comparisons are made between a rising China with that of Germany over 100 years ago. Organski, in his original explication of power transition theory, however, was far more cautious. Despite predicting the remarkable rise of China nearly 60 years ago in his book (1958), World Politics, Organski was circumspect in predicting a great power war involving China and the United States. This article examines the development of power transition theory by a variety of scholars since Organski. We draw on these developments of power transition theory to analyze the implications of the rise of China. We also introduce the other articles that compose this Special Issue of International Area Studies Review on power transition theory and the rise of China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-226
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Area Studies Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the anonymous reviewers and the other contributors to this Special Issue for their comments and suggestions. Previous versions of some of the papers composing this Special Issue were presented at a workshop held at PRIO and funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trends in Conflict Project.

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trends in Conflict Project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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