The Threat from Authoritarian Powers Russia and China: How Serious Is It?

ISDP FORUM with Professor Paul Dibb and Dr. Svante Cornell

Monday, March 9, 2015, 15.00-16.30


This ISDP Forum will explore why the end of the Cold War over 20 years ago has failed to bring about the so-called “end of history”. Instead, we are witnessing the expansion of two authoritarian powers, which both see the U.S. as an adversary, flexing their muscles and joining together in their attempts to challenge Western values. To what extent is the free-rein which has been given to Russian and Chinese actions the result of American preoccupation with the War on Terror? How dangerous are Russia’s aggressive territorial ambitions to the international order? What are the limits of these ambitions, and how are they affected by the weakness of the Russian economy? Is China embarking on an expansionist policy to carve out a sphere of influence of its own in Southeast Asia and which deliberately seeks to displace the U.S. as the dominant power in the continent? How far will the Sino-Russian strategic alignment go, and what does all this imply for world peace and the Western-led international order?

Professor Paul Dibb has previously held a number of high ranking positions within the Australian Government, including Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defence, Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation, and Head of the National Assessments Staff. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies and Chairman of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University. 

Dr. Svante Cornell is Director of the Institute for Security and Development Policy and Research Director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center, operated by ISDP in cooperation with Johns Hopkins University-SAIS. He is one of the authors of the book Putin’s Grand Strategy – The Eurasian Union and Its Discontents and the Silk Road Paper Looking Forward: Kazakhstan and the United States, 2014 

Location: ISDP, Västra Finnbodavägen 2, Stockholm-Nacka. For a map and directions, please go here.

To attend: RSVP to Mr. Scott Sutherland at