Geopolitics in Late Antiquity explores the geopolitical revolution which shook the foundations of the ancient world, the dawning of the millennium of Inner Asian dominance and virtual monopoly of world power (with interludes) that began with the rise of the Huns and then continued under the hegemony of various other steppe peoples. Kim examines first the geopolitical situation created by the rise of Inner Asian powers, and then the reactions of the great empires of Eurasia to this geopolitical challenge.
A unique feature of this book is its in-depth analysis of the geostrategies (some successful, others misguided) adopted by China, Rome and Persia to cope with the growing Inner Asian threat. The conclusions and insights drawn from this analysis are then used to inform modern geopolitics, mainly the contest for hegemonic power between the United States and China.
Geopolitics in Late Antiquity is a crucial resource for both academic and learned general readership, who have an interest in the fate of antiquity’s superpowers and also for those engaged in current international relations policy-making, who wish to learn from historical precedents.
'Hyun Jin Kim is a true global historian. Able to exploit Chinese and classical sources directly, he has transformed our understanding of steppe history in Late Antiquity. The challenge posed by the Huns (Xiongnu for the Chinese) to the established great powers was serious. After surveying the varied responses of the Han empire, the two halves of the Roman empire, and the Sassanian Persian empire, and their varied outcomes, he offers sound advice to contemporary policy-makers in China and the USA.'
- James Howard-Johnston, Oxford University, UK
1.1 The great geopolitical dilemma, theoretical approaches
What is Hegemony?
Hegemony and power transition theories
1.2 Territorial disputes and retrenchment, the re-emergence of policymaking
Where exactly then does policymaking fit in?
Breaking the cycle through retrenchment?
2 The Geopolitical Situation: The Superpowers and the Huns
2.1 Han China and the Huns
2.2. Rome and the Huns
2.3 Sassanian Persia and the Huns
3 The Superpower Reaction
3.1 China strikes back
3.2 Rome falters
The Eastern Roman Empire, its resurgence, temporary pre-eminence and then ‘decline’
3.3 Persian Collapse
4 Conclusion: The Geostrategic Choices for the Future
China as the geopolitical equivalent of the great Turco-Mongol Empires of Eurasia
The geostrategic options for the US