Zhu Wenli: The U.S. Enters the Post Obama Era


On September 23, the Institute of International and Strategic Studies, Peking University (IISS, PKU) held the first session of the seminar series entitled “North Pavilion Seminar” in the North Pavilion. Prof. Zhu Wenli, the special research fellow from School of International Studies, Peking University (SIS, PKU) was invited to give a talk entitled “The U.S. Enters the Post Obama Era”. Attending the seminar were Prof. Wang Jisi, President of IISS. Prof. Yuan Ming, Vice President of IISS, Associated Prof. Yu Tiejun, some of the special research fellows from the IISS, and some faculties from SIS, PKU. The seminar was hosted by Prof. Gui Yongtao, Assistant President of IISS.

In the talk, Prof. Zhu analyzed the special scene of American presidential election started in the summer and presented the new trends of American and global politics after the election. She focused on three “new faces” of Sondes, Trump and Wallen, who became competitive candidates out of the observers’ expectations. In the chaos of the preliminary election inside the parties, there were some traces that overlapped with histories. Upon reviewing American politics in the Jackson era and the role of William Jennings Bryan, she pointed out that the “political pattern changed by new faces” echoed to the history in a certain extent. As the middle line became less and less attractive to voters, more and more western countries would choose ideological routes with clear positions. Even though these new faces could not become representatives of the party or end up in the White House, their statements might influence the main topics for the future political debates.

Prof. Zhu, therefore, put up with a question: was it possible that the post Obama era would become the second ever progressive era for the United States? She further pointed out that if America would choose to directly face with the issue of unbalanced domestic income, it would seize the upper wind in global soft and hard power competition, no matter it discovered a new road or not. Conversely, if America failed and other countries discovered new roads, they would also seize the power of global discourse in the 21st century and define the contemporary era.

In the Q&A session, Prof. Zhu conducted extensive exchanges with audiences on political polarization, protectionism policies, election forecast, elite trust, impact of generation alternation on election, etc., and also had dialogues with Prof. Yuan Ming on relevant issues, such as how to select spiritual resources among different civilizations.

Following the principle of looking forward into the global trend and exploring the great strategy of China, the “North Pavilion Seminar” seminar series staged by IISS provides a platform to build friendships and promote exchanges for experts, scholars, teaching faculties and students in the field of international issues research and international strategies. The seminar is a long-term exchanging event, so it welcomes all sides to recommend speakers and topics, and put forward advice and suggestions.

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Copyright@2014 Institute of International and Strategic Studies Peking University. All Rights Reserved.