Susan L. Shirk

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Founding Chair 21st Century China Center, Research Professor

Susan Shirk is research professor and chair of the 21st Century China Center. She is one of the most influential experts working on U.S.-China relations and Chinese politics. She is also director emeritus of the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC). Susan Shirk first visited China in 1971 and has been teaching, researching and engaging China diplomatically ever since. From 1997-2000, Dr. Shirk served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, with responsibility for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia. Her current book is Overreach: How China Derailed Its Peaceful Rise.  Other books include China: Fragile Superpower, that  helped frame the policy debate on China in the U.S. and other countries. Her other publications include The Political Logic of Economic Reform in ChinaHow China Opened its DoorCompetitive Comrades: Career Incentives and Student Strategies in China; and her edited book, Changing Media, Changing China. Her articles have appeared in leading academic publications in the fields of political science, international relations and China studies, and her views on a range of issues relating to modern Chinese politics are highly sought. Shirk co-chairs a task force of China experts that issued its second report “Course Correction: Toward an Effective and Sustainable China Policy,” in February 2019. She is also co-chair of the UC San Diego Forum on U.S.-China Relations, the first ongoing high-level forum focused entirely on the U.S.-China relationship. She was awarded the 2015 UC San Diego Roger Revelle Medal and the 2021 Joseph J. Kruzel Memorial Award of the American Political Science Association for her distinguished career in national security affairs as an academic and public servant.   Shirk is a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, received her M.A. in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley, and received her PhD in Political Science from M.I.T.

Sessions With Susan L. Shirk

Monday, 6 March

  • 12:00pm - 12:40pm (CST) / 06/mar/2023 06:00 pm - 06/mar/2023 06:40 pm

    Spotlight | De-globalization and the Fracturing of Global Trade

    The globalization of trade fueled unprecedented economic opportunities and technological advances that pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and accelerated prosperity in the developed world. Has it reached its limits? The 2020 pandemic sparked a new wave of trade nationalism. The war in Ukraine entrenched fears of disruption. Have the WTO’s precepts for global trade become obsolete? Will new regional alignments prosper or become a deepening battleground of competition? What nations and industries stand to win and lose?

Tuesday, 7 March

  • 07:30pm - 09:00pm (CST) / 08/mar/2023 01:30 am - 08/mar/2023 03:00 am

    Dinner & Dialogue | Geopolitics: Reshaping the world

    In 2022, the global norms on security, politics, trade and energy were shattered. The international community found itself unable to prevent or stop the war in Ukraine. Supply chains for food, energy and minerals are in disarray. US-China tensions threaten stability in Asia and dysfunctional rivalries in trade. A new North-South divide has emerged on energy and climate. How will companies navigate this uncertainty? And what will guide strategic choices for the future?