The Eagle and the Dragon: A Review of Cool War: The Future of Global Competition

21 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2014 Last revised: 4 Dec 2016

Date Written: June 21, 2015


The rapport between the U.S. and China will likely determine their courses and that of international relations for decades to come. Will they interact more or less cooperatively? Or will they slip into the chilled, zero sum, and vicious competition that characterized the U.S.-U.S.S.R. relationship? In Cool War: The Future of Global Competition, Feldman presents a situation closer to the latter scenario, along with predictions for how and where this contest will play out and strategies for how relations can and should be managed. In doing so, Feldman grafts a Cold War dynamic on modern day international relations and advances antagonistic courses of action for both the U.S. and China. While there exist incentives for cooperation alongside those for competition, Feldman’s analysis relegates these simply to obstacles that the two states must steer around in going after one another. For those who already hold this zero sum view and see the need to immediately engage in Cool War combat through such tactics as a race for allies and corporate war, this book is likely affirmative and perhaps adds to the parameters used to analyze the world. Yet for those who do not yet hold a prediction for the course of world politics, or who still see a place for basic dialogue and diplomacy, this work is likely unconvincing. Cool War is still an interesting read containing a unique and pragmatic, if somewhat disjointed, blend of general political theory and U.S.-China analysis. But its impact on the debates and scholarship revolving around the coming era of international politics and U.S.-China relations will likely be very limited.

Keywords: China, United States, Cool War, Cold War, International Relations, East Asia

Suggested Citation

Kuersten, Andreas, The Eagle and the Dragon: A Review of Cool War: The Future of Global Competition (June 21, 2015). Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 311-31 (2015). Available at SSRN:

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