The Geo-Economic Dimension of Great Power Competition

By Michael Miklaucic Faculty Seminar


This faculty seminar was held on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 and focused on the fundamentals of geo-economics and the drivers or dimensions of geo-economic competition. This seminar features two distinguished subject matter experts on China and geo-economics, and is part of a series that looks at modern great power competition and how to prepare national security leaders for the associated challenges. The discussion was led by Carolyn Bartholomew ( and William Overholt (, and was moderated by PRISM Editor Michael Miklaucic.

The seminar had two main objectives;

  1. Enhance NDU faculty knowledge about geo-economic competition in order to develop a cutting-edge curriculum aligned with the National Security and National Defense Strategies’ emphasis on great power competition;
  2. Fill an institutional and governmental gap regarding our common understanding of the economic dimensions of great power competition, the seminar seeks to establish NDU as a center of excellence for the education of leaders and development of whole-of-government solutions, as well as international partnerships required to compete effectively.

Why: As directed by the National Security and National Defense Strategies, and Directives from the Secretary of Defense, National Defense University is developing innovative perspectives to better understand and to succeed in the competition between the United States and its near-peer competitors, to include non-military aspects of the strategic competition (e.g., economic, information, etc.) and emergent domains (e.g., space, cyber, AI/ML).

Who: The seminar is offered by INSS and PRISM.

How: The two-hour seminar addressed three aspects of the geo-economics challenge in the era of near-peer competition;

  1. Defined the geo-economic challenge posed by China, including its theoretical underpinnings and various ways of thinking about geo-economic competition;
  2. Explained what is in the geo-economic toolbox, and how those tools are deployed by the U.S. government;
  3. Discussed how to best Incorporate geo-economic analysis of great power competition into the JPME curriculum.