Shirk offers ‘China: Fragile Superpower’ lecture Nov. 12

Nov 12th, 2009 | By | Category: Campus News, Issue, November 12, 2009

E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues | 6:30 p.m., Nov. 12 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts

Susan Shirk, a former deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for China and author of a 2007 book, “China, Fragile Superpower,” will give a lecture of the same name Nov. 12 in the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues.

The 7 p.m. lecture at the Lied Center for Performing Arts will be preceded by a pre-talk at 6:30 p.m. by Andrew Wedeman, associate professor of political science and chair of Asian studies, in the Lied Center’s Steinhart Room.

Once a sleeping giant, China today is the world’s fastest growing economy – a dramatic turn-around that alarms many westerners. Shirk’s book 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 knows many of today’s Chinese rulers personally, having studied them for three decades.


Shirk will give an update on China’s internal politics and fears that motivate its leaders.

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 the country, including pieces in the Washington Post, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal.

Shirk’s address is the third Thompson Forum lecture this season focusing on “Encountering China.”

All Thompson Forum lectures are free and open to the public, but all events are ticketed. For many lectures, tickets are available at the door, but requesting tickets in advance is recommended. Tickets are free and guarantee a reserved seat. Those interested may reserve Thompson Forum tickets by contacting the Lied Center at 472-4747 or (800) 432-3231. Tickets may also be picked up in person, or ordered by downloading a form at

Thompson Forum lectures will be available live online at, Lincoln Time Warner Cable Channel 21, NETSAT 104, UNL campus Channel 8 and UNL’s KRNU radio (90.3 FM). Live satellite broadcasts and follow-up discussion will be available in Scottsbluff, North Platte, Kearney, Wayne, Columbus and Omaha.

For more information about the Thompson Forum, go to

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