France, the United States, and China 2050

In its first experiment of Examining History to Explore the Future, AWMF is centering its work on France and the United States. Neither nation can afford to be shortsighted in its thinking about the strategic competition with China and the role of the transatlantic alliance. This project will lead to strong U.S.-French cooperation in a new intellectual forum as well as a greater understanding of individual and shared challenges in Asia.

AWMF is supporting one French team and one American team that are examining how France and the United States’ histories with China may influence their respective relations with China through 2050. Teams will explore how their histories will have shaped:

  • Future national interests and objectives;
  • Perceptions of threats and challenges;
  • Assessments of competitive and comparative advantages;
  • Potential changes in the geo-strategic/geo-economic landscapes; and
  • Aspects of national or strategic culture or collective memory.

Methodologically, teams may create new kinds of analytic tools, exploit new or previously underutilized data, consult with experts outside the traditional international relations community, or incorporate concepts or approaches from orthogonally related fields. The teams also will engage with historical primary source material and secondary source material.

Each team is researching and writing a paper of approximately 20,000 words. Following this paper-writing period, the French team and the U.S. team are holding capstone discussions to analyze areas of convergence and divergence in their perspectives. AWMF will publish the two team papers and the capstone discussion findings in both French and English. It also will sponsor an event presenting the teams and their findings to a broad audience.

For inquiries into future projects focusing on other countries, please contact

The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation thanks the Richard Lounsbery Foundation for its generous support of this project.


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