A satellite photo of North and South Korea at night.. National Geophysical Data Center. Featured in the book “Why Nations Fail” by James Robinson and Daron Acemoglu 

Hosted by the Milken Institute, this panel discussion features Jared Diamond (Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles; Pulitzer Prize winner, “Guns, Germs, and Steel”), Niall Ferguson (Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution), James Robinson (David Florence Professor of Government, Harvard University) and moderator William Bennett (Former U.S. Secretary of Education; Author, “Is College Worth It?”)

Do nations, like a good drama, have a beginning, middle and end? Why do civilizations succeed, why do they fail? Is it culture, economics, geography, climate, or an interaction among them? Is reinvention and rejuvenation possible?

The panel of celebrated scholars will examine the forces that propel the life cycles of empires and how they may apply in today’s world. Many are asking whether the U.S. is past its peak and China will inevitably reclaim the preeminence it enjoyed centuries ago. More broadly, is the global center of gravity moving from West to East? This event may also yield insights for businesses – they don’t live forever either.