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Stephen Brooks: A Three-Hit Game

Stephen Brooks1.jpgTwo days ago we noted with approval Government Professor Stephen Brooks’ forthright presentation at Monday’s faculty meeting regarding the administration’s failure to keep Dartmouth faculty salaries competitive — a choice which hurts the College in the hunt for top-quality professors. To obtain a more complete sense of Brooks, you might also read a 5,000-word essay that he and his writing and research collaborator, Government Professor William Wohlforth, have just published in Foreign Affairs: The Once and Future Superpower, Why China Won’t Overtake the United States; and you can listen to his May 24 interview on NPR (starting at 13:00), where he discusses some of his recent research findings and analyzes issues such as geopolitical jousting in the Pacific, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the significance of President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima. Not a bad week.

Brooks is a prolific scholar (with an h-index of 14). His latest book, also written with Wohlforth, America Abroad: The United States’ Global Role in the 21st Century, will be published in July by the Oxford University Press.

Addendum: Brooks’ and Wohlforth’s scholarship has not passed unnoticed. In a column yesterday in the Washington Post, America is still great — but it needs to stay strong, Fareed Zakaria refers to their work:

In a pair of essays, scholars Stephen Brooks and William Wohlforth point out that China is the closest the United States has to a rising rival but only on one measure, gross domestic product. A better, broader measure of economic power, Brooks and Wohlforth argue, is “inclusive wealth.” This is the sum of a nation’s “manufactured capital (roads, buildings, machines and equipment), human capital (skills, education, health) and natural capital (sub-soil resources, ecosystems, the atmosphere).” The United States’ inclusive wealth totaled almost $144 trillion in 2010 — 4½ times China’s $32 trillion.

China is far behind the United States in its ability to add value to goods and create new products. Brooks and Wohlforth note that half of China’s exports are parts imported to China, assembled there and then exported — mostly for Western multinationals. The authors also suggest that payments for intellectual property are a key measure of technological strength. In 2013, China took in less than $1 billion, while the United States received $128 billion. In 2012, America registered seven times as many “triadic” patents — those granted in the United States, Europe and Japan.

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