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USCSSO Spring 2023 Conference

Updated: Jul 19, 2023



On Monday, March 27, the US-China Strategic Studies Organization hosted its second annual Spring Conference in the Elliott School City View Room. From 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., 50+ attendees experienced the Spring Conference in three segments: a moderated discussion with a guest speaker from American University, a catered intermission accompanied by a research showcase highlighting 6 USCSSO projects, and an advice panel and networking session featuring three young professionals currently working in international affairs industries like D.C. think tanks, departments in the federal government, or private sector corporations.


The evening began with the moderated speaker discussion entitled "Xi Jinping: Where He Came From, Where He’s Going" featuring Dr. Joseph Torigian of the Wilson Center and American University as the distinguished guest speaker. The event focused on the key underlying experiences and influences that underpin Xi Jinping's governing philosophy. This recording of the hour-long discussion was published for the viewing pleasure of those who were unable to attend our Spring Conference in March.


About Our Speaker:

Dr. Joseph Torigian is an assistant professor at the School of International Service at American University in Washington and a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center, specializing in the politics of authoritarian regimes with a specific focus on elite power struggles, civil-military relations, and grand strategy. As a scholar, his philosophy is to select topics based on the widest gap between the under-utilization of available documents and their theoretical and empirical importance, extract broader lessons, and use those lessons to help us to understand two nations of crucial geopolitical importance – Russia and China. His research agenda draws upon comparative politics, international relations, security studies, and history to ask big questions about the long-term political trajectories of these two states. In particular, Dr. Torigian is interested in how leaders in those countries create security against threats from within the elite, their own people, and other states.


Previously, Dr. Torigian was a Stanton Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton-Harvard’s China and the World Program, a Postdoctoral (and Predoctoral) Fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), a Predoctoral Fellow at George Washington University’s Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, an IREX scholar affiliated with the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, a Fulbright Scholar at Fudan University in Shanghai, and a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations. His research has also been supported by the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation, MIT’s Center for International Studies, MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives, the Critical Language Scholarship program, and FLAS.


About Our Moderator:

Dylan Shepard is the Director of Research at the U.S.-China Strategic Studies Organization. He is also an Undergraduate Research Fellow at the GW Institute for Korean Studies and the Director of Events at the GW chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society. His primary research focus is on Chinese political economy and the intellectual history of the Chinese Communist Party.

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