Erik Voeten

Recent Articles

Detailed Campaigns

One of the complaints about the Republican Convention that will surely be repeated when the Democrats gather in Charlotte is that newly uttered proposals sound great but lack sufficient detail to be evaluated seriously. Who is going to do precisely what to Medicare? How much of what government services are going to be cut?

When Is Judicial Behavior Political?

(Flickr / s_falkow)

The debates about Chief Justice Roberts’s motivations for his health-care opinion rage on with new leaks appearing almost every day. Randy Barnett responds to Jonathan Adler’s attempt at showing that Roberts’s opinion is quite consistent with his past judgments:

But this does not [make] his bending himself into a pretzel to uphold a law when the screws were put to him any less political. [..] 8 justices acted on principle:  4 on good principles and 4 on bad principles.

Defining Decline

I am delighted to welcome Michael Beckley’s response to my earlier post on China and the United States. I may write a brief response later this week.


Is the United States in relative decline to China? In a recent article in International Security, I say no. In a post on this blog, Erik Voeten says yes. Who’s right?

Conventional Wisdom About China's Economy is Wrong

Daniel Drezner has an interesting post arguing that tales of U.S. decline and China’s ascent are wildly exaggerated. The post contains lots of interesting analysis but this quote from Michael Beckley’s new article (see here for Andrew Sullivan’s analysis) in International Security had me scratching my head:

The widespread misperception that China is catching up to the United States stems from a number of analytical flaws, the most common of which is the tendency to draw conclusions about the U.S.-China power balance from data that compare China only to its former self. For example, many studies note that the growth rates of China’s per capita income, value added in high technology industries, and military spending exceed those of the United States and then conclude that China is catching up. This focus on growth rates, however, obscures China’s decline relative to the United States in all of these categories. China’s growth rates are high because its starting point was low. China is rising, but it is not catching up.

The Death of Kim, Jong-il: Grounds for Apprehension

We are delighted to welcome the following guest post from Patrick M. Morgan, the Tierney chair in global peace and conflict studies at the University of California Irvine.  Among others, he is a specialist on deterrence and a founding member of the Council on U.S. Korean Security studies. (Full disclosure: Pat is also my father in law.)