Accidental Conflict

America, China, and the Clash of False Narratives

Hardcover, Paperback & eBook now available

Behind the bluster of two powerful leaders, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, was an undercurrent of shared vulnerability and global ambition. For America’s 45th president, China was the lightning rod in his campaign to make America great again. For China’s fifth generation leader, it was all about the rejuvenation of the Chinese Dream after a century of humiliation.

It was an unmistakable recipe for conflict — but with a diabolical twist.


Listed on the Financial Times “Best books of 2022: Economics”
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“A timely, fluid, readable assessment of a testy and rapidly changing global relationship.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

A remarkable book. Accidental Conflict offers a wealth of evidence about and a new depth of understanding of the underlying forces that drive the Chinese and United States economies.
—Robert Shiller, Nobel Laureate and author

Accidental Conflict is the result of failing to turn a codependent relation into a interdependent one. It is an opportunity we should not miss.
—Robert Engle, Nobel Laureate in Economics

Accidental Conflict is a very important and timely book. Its arguments and analyses have the potential to change misperceptions by policymakers and analysts on both sides and avoid a dangerous and mutually destructive course.
—Laura D. Tyson, former Chair, White House Council of Economic Advisers

I can think of no one better qualified than Steve Roach to explain how the China-America bromance went wrong, and how it could, with good will on both sides, be put right.
—Author Howard Davies


A rare combination of thought leadership on Wall Street and academia qualifies Stephen Roach as a leading practitioner of analytical macroeconomics. After thirty years at Morgan Stanley, mainly as the firm’s chief economist and eventually as the Hong Kong-based Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, he joined the Yale faculty in 2010 where he developed popular new courses — “The Next China” and “The Lessons of Japan.”

A forecaster by training in his early days as a Fed economist, Stephen Roach has long been mindful of the perils of historical extrapolation. As seen through that lens, his vision of the “Next China” offers a unique template for the exciting but daunting possibilities of China’s uncertain future. Roach’s focus on the US-China relationship is an outgrowth of the interplay between two major strands of his professional experience—as a leading US economist and an influential analyst of a rising China. His two most recent books—Accidental Conflict (2022) and Unbalanced (2014)—draw extensively on that focus.

He has a Ph.D. in economics from New York University and lives in New Canaan, CT.

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