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Stock photo of military ship in port

Summer Study

This program is no longer active.

The Merrill Center gathers emerging and established scholars, practitioners, and current and former government leaders for a weeklong workshop to explore strategies for the United States to compete with China over the next several decades. 

The SAIS Summer Study was established in 2012 and aims to explore strategies for the United States to compete with China. Each year, the workshop seeks to develop  a new generation of scholars and practitioners proficient in both regional and strategic studies.


The Summer Study takes place in a small seminar environment of approximately twenty attendees. The cohort is composed of early-to-mid-career scholars and practitioners as well as established scholars and current and former government and industry leaders.


The first portion of the Summer Study includes lectures, panel discussions, and roundtables on strategy, the Asian security environment, and China as a strategic actor. During the second portion of the Summer Study, participants are divided into teams to develop strategies for preserving American interests in the face of growing Chinese political influence and military power and examine how the United States can exploit its enduring strengths against China’s enduring weaknesses. These teams then game out their strategies in an interactive simulation. In the final portion, the participants reassemble for a discussion of the Sino-American strategic competition.

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