Michael R. Auslin

Williams-Griffis Fellow in Contemporary Asia

Michael Auslin is the inaugural Williams-Griffis Fellow in Contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. A historian by training, he specializes in contemporary and historical U.S. policy in Asia and political and security issues in the Indo-Pacific region.

A best-selling author, Dr. Auslin’s latest book is The End of the Asian Century:  War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World's Most Dynamic Region (Yale). He is a longtime contributor to the Wall Street Journal and National Review, and his writing appears in other leading publications, including The Atlantic, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and Politico. He comments regularly for U.S. and foreign print and broadcast media. 

Previously, Dr. Auslin was an associate professor of history at Yale University, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Fulbright Scholar, and a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, among other honors, and serves on the board of the Wilton Park USA Foundation. He received a BSc from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and his PhD in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Recent Commentary

In the News

Does Technology Favor Tyranny?

quoting Timothy Garton Ash, Michael R. Auslin, Larry Diamond, Niall Fergusonvia Foreign Affairs
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

We at Foreign Affairs have recently published a number of pieces dealing with technology and authoritarianism. To complement these articles, we decided to ask a broad pool of experts for their take.


Michael Auslin On Armstrong and Getty (11:18)

interview with Michael R. Auslinvia Armstrong and Getty
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Michael Auslin talks about the US intelligence community's threat assessment.

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Trade, Britannia

by Michael R. Auslinvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 25, 2019

Brexit-bound Britain thinks it can strike its own trade deal with China. Such deals never come cheap.

Analysis and Commentary

Nathan Glazer, RIP

by Michael R. Auslinvia National Review
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

I was sitting down to write an email to Nathan Glazer when the news came in that he had passed away. Nat was 95 and one of the country’s last true public intellectuals. Others around here can write far more effectively about the significance, and sometimes controversy, of his work, but to me, he was an acquaintance who turned into a kind of quiet mentor. I first met Nat while a young professor at Yale, close to 15 years ago. 


Antagonistic Competition Marks U.S.–China Relations 40 Years After Normalization

by Michael R. Auslinvia National Review
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Amid the tumult of America’s domestic politics, the 40th anniversary of the normalization of Sino–U.S. relations passed almost unnoticed on January 1, commemorated only in subdued comments from Washington and Beijing. The relationship, once heralded by leaders in both countries as the world’s most important, is currently in flux. 

USS Bataan (LHD-5), a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.

Britain Is Right To Send Its Navy To The South China Sea

by Michael R. Auslinvia The Spectator
Monday, January 21, 2019

The Royal Navy and US Navy held joint exercises in the South China Sea last week, for the first time since China began building new military bases in those waters. The exercises sent a message to Beijing that it faces an evolving united front of nations committed to maintaining freedom of navigation in some of the world’s most vital waterways.

Analysis and Commentary

More Bad News For China

by Michael R. Auslinvia National Review
Monday, January 21, 2019

The Wall Street Journal reports that China’s economy is growing at its slowest rate since 1990 — and that those are the official figures, which, as the article notes, are viewed increasingly skeptically by economists. Of course, the official 6.6 percent growth rate would be the envy of all developed countries, but for China, it’s a continuation of a slowdown that underscores the major challenges facing the Chinese Communist Party and government in the next decade. As I argued in my book, The End of the Asian Century, decades of sweeping problems under the rug have caught up with China.

Analysis and Commentary

Trump Pivots To Asia, But His Trade Policy Needs A Boost

by Michael R. Auslinvia The National Review
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

In a piece just up for the Wall Street Journal (paywalled), I argue that President Trump’s pivot to Asia is shaping up to be more substantive and potentially transformative than the one the Obama Administration regularly touted.


Trump’s Successful Pivot To Asia

by Michael R. Auslinvia The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

[Subscription Required] America’s regional allies are relieved to learn that the U.S. isn’t going anywhere—for now.

Analysis and Commentary

New Pentagon Boss Doubles Down On The Hard Line Against China

by Michael R. Auslinvia National Review
Friday, January 11, 2019

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan took office on January 2 with the mantra “China, China, China.” Shanahan’s statement, his first as Pentagon head and coming as it did one day after the 40th anniversary of the normalization of U.S.-China diplomatic relations, was another indication that the Trump administration’s strategic shift in U.S. security policy is no passing fancy. If the administration is often derided for its distraction, haphazard policy making, and lack of focus, it has nonetheless taken a consistent line towards China, identifying it as the premier threat to U.S. interests.