Once a sleeping giant, China today is the world's fastest growing economy -- a dramatic turn-around that alarms many Westerners. Shirk's 2007 book, China: Fragile Superpower, explored the troubling paradox faced by China's leaders: the more developed and prosperous the country becomes, the more insecure and threatened they feel. Shirk, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for China, knows many of today's Chinese rulers personally and has studied them for three decades. In her Thompson Forum lecture, Shirk will give an update on the state of China's internal politics and the fears that motivate its leaders. Susan L. Shirk is Director of the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, and Professor at UC-San Diego's Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. A leading authority on China, she has written numerous books and articles on this subject, including pieces that have appeared in Washington Post, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal.
A cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues began in 1988 as part of a mission to promote better understanding of world events and issues by Nebraskans. The Forum seeks out forceful speakers who are committed to the issues they address, seeking balance over the range of its programs rather than in each presentation. The Forum does not endorse the views of the individual speakers nor limit their freedom to express their points of view.