Could World War I Happen Again?


Associated Program:
John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum
R. Nicholas Burns
Richard Rosecrance
Etel Solingen

R. Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School; Richard Rosencrance, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and co-editor of “The Next Great War? The Roots of World War I and the Risk of US-China Conflict"; and Etel Solingen, Thomas T. and Elizabeth C. Tierney Chair in Peace Studies at the University of California, Irvine, joined moderator Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, in a discussion on WWI and its implications for the present day. In particular, the panel considered whether the modern day rivalry between the United States and China could generate a conflict as costly as World War I. The panel broadly concluded that such an event is highly improbable, though not necessarily impossible.