Dr. Andrew Scobell is a distinguished fellow with the China program at the U.S. Institute of Peace. He focuses on U.S.-China relations, China’s armed forces and defense policy and China’s foreign relations with countries and regions around the world — with a particular emphasis on the Korean Peninsula, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

He previously spent more than 10 years as a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, where his research and publications focused on China and the Indo-Pacific. Prior to RAND, Scobell was an associate professor at the George H. W. Bush School of Government and Public Service and founding director of the China Certificate Program at Texas A&M University. From 1999 to 2007 he served as associate research professor in the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Dr. Scobell’s research interests include authoritarianism, communism and post-communism, civil-military relations, patterns and processes of cooperation and conflict, the use of armed force, crisis management, coercive diplomacy, deterrence, grand strategy and military strategy. He has authored or co-authored two books, 30 reports and more than 40 journal articles. He has also edited or co-edited 20 volumes.

Dr. Scobell earned a doctorate from Columbia University, a master’s from the University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and a bachelor’s from Whitman College. His awards include the Donald Bren Chair in Non-Western Strategic Thought at Marine Corps University, the Silver Star Award at Texas A&M University, the John Madigan Award at the U.S. Army War College, the Victor Olorunsola Award at the University of Louisville. He has also been a foreign language and area studies fellow at Columbia University and a foreign affairs and national defense fellow at the Congressional Research Service. Dr. Scobell was born and raised in Hong Kong.

Publications By Andrew

What a Russian Nuclear Escalation Would Mean for China and India

What a Russian Nuclear Escalation Would Mean for China and India

Thursday, November 10, 2022

By: Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.;  Vikram J. Singh;  Alex Stephenson

Since Russia began its assault on Ukraine last February, India and China have straddled the fence by hinting at their concerns regarding the war’s global fallout while avoiding direct public criticism of Moscow. Despite rhetorical consternation and calls for a peaceful resolution, neither has shown a willingness to meaningfully push back against Putin’s escalations in Ukraine. Instead, the two Asian nuclear powers are approaching the situation with caution and calculated diplomacy to preserve their own strategic interests — both in Russia and the West.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGlobal Policy

Andrew Scobell on China’s National Party Congress

Andrew Scobell on China’s National Party Congress

Thursday, October 27, 2022

By: Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping cemented himself as "clearly the most powerful ruler in China since Mao" at the recent National Party Congress. But USIP's Andrew Scobell says Xi has staked his legitimacy on delivering for the Chinese people — and sputtering economic growth poses a significant challenge going forward.

Type: Podcast

China After the Party Congress: Welcome to Xi’s People’s Republic of Control

China After the Party Congress: Welcome to Xi’s People’s Republic of Control

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

By: Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.

Beijing has just played host to the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The gathering’s significance is considerable, witnessing not only the recoronation of Xi, but also a generational turnover of CCP leadership and a topline articulation of the party’s accomplishments to date and its priorities for the next five years.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

Misreading Biden in Beijing: Perception is Everything in U.S.-China Relations

Misreading Biden in Beijing: Perception is Everything in U.S.-China Relations

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

By: Carla Freeman, Ph.D.;  Alison McFarland;  Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.

Beijing’s strong reaction to U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s August visit to Taiwan highlights how the island has become ground zero in major power competition, with U.S.-China relations at their lowest point in decades. Indeed, the Taiwan Strait is now the most plausible locale for a military confrontation between the United States and China. Most alarmingly, Beijing and Washington are prone to misread the signals of the other, especially where Taiwan is concerned. Misinterpreting rhetoric or actions can be extremely dangerous because it can trigger action-reaction cycles that can spiral into unintended escalation and unwanted conflict.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGlobal Policy

US-China Signaling, Action-Reaction Dynamics, and Taiwan: A Preliminary Examination

US-China Signaling, Action-Reaction Dynamics, and Taiwan: A Preliminary Examination

Monday, September 12, 2022

By: Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.;  Shao Yuqun;  Carla Freeman, Ph.D.;  Wu Chunsi;  Alison McFarland;  Ji Yixin

The United States and China have found it challenging in recent years to interpret one another’s foreign policy signals vis-à-vis Taiwan. Misinterpretation of the signaling may contribute to a cycle of actions and reactions that can inadvertently elevate bilateral tensions to the point of crisis or even war in the Taiwan Strait. This report, co-authored by three USIP experts and three experts from China’s Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, examines the challenges to clear and unambiguous US-China communications over Taiwan and provides preliminary recommendations for overcoming them.

Type: Report

Global Policy

View All