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No Peer Rivals

American Grand Strategy in the Era of Great Power Competition

Subjects: Political Science, International Relations
Paperback : 9780472057399, 256 pages, 1 Table, 6 x 9, April 2025
Hardcover : 9780472077397, 256 pages, 1 Table, 6 x 9, April 2025
Open Access : 9780472904990, 256 pages, 1 Table, 6 x 9, April 2025
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A new realist grand strategy for the U.S. to maintain its sole superpower status

Table of contents

Table of Contents
Introduction: A Grand Strategy for Great Power Competition (GPC)
Chapter One: International Relations Theories and Great Power Politics
Chapter Two:  Realism and the New Era of Geopolitical Conflict
Chapter Three: China, Russia, and Other National Security Threats 
Chapter Four: Military Power: Strategic Planning for Great Power Competition and Conflict
Chapter Five: The Sinews of Power: Strategic Competition in Economics, Technology, and Energy 
Chapter Six: Regional Diplomacy, Alliances, and A Realist World Order 
Conclusion: Counterarguments and the Case for No Peer Rivals 


With military maneuvers in Taiwan and the South China Sea and the eruption of war in Ukraine, the past few years have brought deteriorating diplomatic relations and increasing military and economic tensions between the United States, China, and Russia. After benefiting from the geopolitical and financial advantages conferred by a privileged status as a global superpower for three decades, the United States needs to adapt to a geopolitical shift toward competition and confrontation in order to contain China’s quest for global superpower status.
No Peer Rivals takes a major staple of International Relations scholarship—the offensive realist paradigm—and develops a comprehensive and practical grand strategy for the United States in this new era of Great Power Competition. The No Peer Rival framework is grounded in a realistic assessment of the most likely courses of action adopted by China, Russia, and other important regional powers. It prioritizes great power rivalry over other strategic goals, and identifies China as the biggest threat to America’s unique position in the international system. This grand strategic approach carefully aligns the domestic sources of national power (economic strength, energy security, and technological prowess) to America’s foreign policy and national security objectives. In addition to recommending necessary changes to America’s military and diplomatic strategies, No Peer Rivals also demonstrates that a realistic approach to industrial policy, international trade, energy production, and technological superiority offers the best chance for developing the sinews of power needed to outcompete Beijing in the long run.

Ionut Popescu is Professor of Political Science at Texas State University.