Middle Powers Economic Statecraft

This research is supported by the Korea Foundation, UC National Laboratory Fees Program, and Institute of the National Interest, Chung-Ang University

From aerospace technology to GPS to the Internet, governments have played an important role in providing early impetus to the research and development of technologies with both civilian and military applications. These interventions can take a variety of forms, from early-stage venture capital funding (government as investor) to making markets for finished products (government as customer) to creating regulatory barriers to benefit domestic firms vis à vis foreign competitors (government as rule-maker). Currently, scholars and policymakers are increasingly interested in how governments might intervene to bolster their domestic R&D efforts in support of a variety of emerging technologies—from the next generation of microchips used for AI applications to the development of quantum technologies (for sensing, communications, and computing).

Understanding the implications of intervention in dual-use high technology as states pursue a variety of measures in investment, trade, and finance is critical. We consider policies in these three arenas to be what we term “new economic statecraft”—reflecting efforts by states to enhance their economic and military capabilities.  These issues pose a challenge to policymakers in East Asia, Europe, and North America. 

This conference examines the options available to middle powers in East Asia as they seek to successfully maneuver in a world of increasing bipolar competition between China and the United States.

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