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2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the fall of China's last dynasty and the passage of two decades since the implosion of the Soviet Union, this is an apt time to take stock of the world's most populous country. How is it that a Communist Party remains in power more than 20 years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the changes in Moscow triggered confident talk of an impending "Leninist Extinction"?  What kinds of impact on the international scene is China's economic boom and rising influence in global affairs having?  And are global trends playing a crucial or only minor role in shaping the course of Chinese domestic events? These are the sorts of questions that Kenneth Pomeranz and Jeffrey Wasserstrom, historians of China based at UC Irvine who share an interest in global issues and the links between past and present, will address in this Kissinger Institute discussion.

This event will be held in the 6th floor Moynihan Board Room at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. As seating is limited, please RSVP above.

Kenneth Pomeranz is Chancellor's Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, and is currently a Visiting Fellow at Princeton's Institute of Advanced Study.  His books include, as author, The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Global Economy (2000), The World that Trade Created (2000 and 2005 editions), and The Environment and World History (2009).

Jeffrey Wasserstrom is Professor of History and Department Chair at the University of California, Irvine, where he also edits the Journal of Asian Studies.  An Associate Fellow of the Asia Society, his most recent books are China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know (2010) and the forthcoming anthology Chinese Characters: Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land (2012).

Pomeranz and Wasserstrom are co-founders of and contributing editors to the "China Beat," a blog based at UC Irvine, and are two of the three co-editors of a book made up largely of posts from that blog, China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance (2009).


  • Kenneth Pomeranz

    Chancellor's Professor of History, University of California, Irvine
  • Jeffrey Wasserstrom

    Professor of History, Department Chair, University of California, Irvine