The Second World: How Emerging Powers Are Redefining Global Competition In The Twenty-first Century by Parag KhannaThe Second World: How Emerging Powers Are Redefining Global Competition In The Twenty-first Century by Parag Khanna

The Second World: How Emerging Powers Are Redefining Global Competition In The Twenty-first Century

byParag Khanna

Paperback | February 10, 2009

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In The Second World, scholar Parag Khanna, chosen as one of Esquire’s 75 Most Influential People of the Twenty-First Century, reveals how America’s future depends on its ability to compete with the European Union and China to forge relationships with the Second World, the pivotal regions of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, South America, the Middle East, and East Asia that are growing in influence and economic strength.

Informed, witty, and armed with a traveler’s intuition for blending into diverse cultures, Khanna depicts second-world societies from the inside out, observing how globalization divides them into winners and losers–and shows how China, Europe, and America use their unique imperial gravities to pull the second-world countries into their orbits. Along the way, Khanna explains how Arabism and Islamism compete for the Arab soul, reveals how Iran and Saudi Arabia play the superpowers against one another, unmasks Singapore’s inspirational role in East Asia, and psychoanalyzes the second-world leaders whose decisions are reshaping the balance of power.
Parag Khanna directs the Global Governance Initiative in the American Strategy Program of the New America Foundation. He has been a fellow at the Brookings Institution and worked for the World Economic Forum and the Council on Foreign Relations. During 2007, he was a senior geopolitical advisor to U.S. Special Operations Command. Born ...
Title:The Second World: How Emerging Powers Are Redefining Global Competition In The Twenty-first CenturyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 8.01 × 5.23 × 0.99 inPublished:February 10, 2009Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0812979842

ISBN - 13:9780812979848

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INTRODUCTION: INTER-IMPERIAL RELATIONS   IN THE 1990S, as bombed-out buildings in the Balkans crumbled, who managed the reconstruction of these war-torn nations? When Mexico’s currency crashed to the point of debt default, who bailed it out? When the former Soviet republics in Central Asia were flung into independence, who settled their borders and boosted their trade?   In all three cases, the answer is an empire: the European Union, the United States, and China, respectively.   These days it is not fashionable to speak of empires. Empires are aggressive, mercantilist relics supposedly consigned to the dustbin of history with Britain, France, and Portugal’s post–World War II retrenchment from their African and Asian colonies and the 1990s collapse of the Soviet Union. Many then predicted that ethnic self-determination would drag the world into a new era of political fragmentation, as the number of countries proliferated from fewer than fifty at the end of World War II to, potentially, hundreds in the twenty-first century, with every minority getting its own state, currency, and seat in the United Nations.   But for thousands of years, empires have been the world’s most powerful political entities, their imperial yoke restraining subjugated nations from fighting one another and thereby fulfilling people’s eternal desire for order—the prerequisite for stability and meaningful democracy.1 Rome, Istanbul, Venice, and London ruled over thousands of distinct political communities until the advent of the nation-state in the seventeenth century. By World War II, global power had consolidated into just a half dozen empires, almost all of them European. Decolonization ended these artificial empires—small nations ruling by force over overseas colonies—but it did not end empire itself. Empires may not be the most desirable form of governance, given the regular occurrence of hugely destructive wars between them, but mankind’s psychological limitations still prevent it from doing better.   Big is back. It is inter-imperial relations—not international or inter-civilizational—that shape the world. Empires—not civilizations—give geography its meaning. Indeed, empires span across civilizations; as they spread their norms and customs, they can change who people are—irrespective of their civilization.3 Because empires care more for power and growth than for the preservation of unique culture, they are, simply put, bigger than civilizations. That Europe and China are ancient civilizations makes them unique, but their status as expansionist powers makes them exceptional.   Today there are fewer dominant power centers in the world than was the case during most of history.4 Since World War II, small feudal entities have fused into modern China, and more than two dozen nation-states have integrated into the supranational European Union. These two and the United States are the world’s three natural empires: each geographically unified and militarily, economically, and demographically strong enough to expand. As George Kennan pithily reminded us, the inequities of power among states have always made a mockery of sovereignty. And the more countries in the world there are, the easier it is for empires to divide and conquer.   Yet all empires are susceptible to what Arnold Toynbee called “the mirage of immortality.” Americans tend to believe they preside over the world’s first global imperium, but in fact Great Britain was the last global empire on which the sun never set. Much of the world belonged to its domain and reported to it.6 In a decolonized world in which territorial conquest is taboo, America has no such ability to dictate affairs unilaterally on all corners of the planet; America has ambassadors, not viceroys. Nor should America’s global military presence be confused with dominance. If power is measured strictly in military terms, then the world is indeed “uni-multipolar”—America at the top, with a strong set of regional powers below. But military power means less today than it did in the past, particularly as the technologies that allow others to resist and defend themselves spread widely. Better measures of power take into account economic productivity, global market share, technological innovation, natural resource endowments, and population size as well as intangible factors such as national willpower and diplomatic skill. In fact, precisely because all great powers now have nuclear weapons, economic power is more important than military power. China’s mix of huge population, industrial output, and financial wealth makes it a superpower with unprecedented potential. The European Union is economically wealthier than both the United States and China; its population size fits in between the two, and it has significant military power and technological prowess.   In The Economic Consequences of the Peace, John Maynard Keynes wrote, “The great events of history are often due to secular changes in the growth of population and other fundamental economic causes, which, escaping by their gradual character the notice of contemporary observers, are attributed to the follies of statesmen or the fanaticism of atheists.”7 But today it is possible to measure with exactitude the micro-level processes and interactions that add up to large geopolitical shifts, just as scientists measure the symptoms and causes of climate change. The world’s superpower map is being rebalanced—but without a single center.*1 By challenging America’s position in the global hierarchy and securing allies and loyalty around the world, the EU and China have engineered a palpable shift toward three relatively equal centers of influence: Washington, Brussels, and Beijing.   THE GEOPOLITICAL MARKETPLACE   Power abhors a vacuum. The collapse of the Soviet Union left the United States as what the French call une hyperpuissance—an entity capable of deploying military power anywhere—but it did not assure America’s global hegemony. Instead, America’s “unipolar moment” was just that, a brief period of suspended animation during which Europe and China rose from under the shadow of America’s regional security umbrellas, shifting gradually from internal consolidation to external power projection. Their rise is now no more preventable than evolution. Everywhere one can feel a planet that is simultaneously being Americanized, Europeanized, and Sinicized.   Power has migrated from monopoly to marketplace. All three superpowers now use their military, economic, and political power to build spheres of influence around the world, competing to mediate conflicts, shape markets, and spread customs.9 In the geopolitical marketplace, consumer countries choose which superpower will be their patron; some choose more than one. When one superpower tries to isolate an enemy, another superpower can always swoop in with a lifeline and gain an ally. The world has never before witnessed this sort of truly global competition—a condition that may be the most complicated in all of history, since the superpowers are neither all Western (China) nor even states as conventionally understood (the EU).   America’s national security strategy aims to shape “countries at a crossroads” by promoting stability in dangerous regions.10 But in many such spaces, America is no longer viewed as a provider of security but rather of insecurity, a dynamic that opens the door for China and Europe to bring those countries into their spheres of influence. “Great powers don’t just mind their own business,” said U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and, indeed, America’s declining credibility does not mean that credibility itself cannot be seized by others.   In the geopolitical marketplace, legitimacy is based on effectiveness—and must be proven in comparison with other superpowers. In fact, America can learn a lot about legitimacy from Europe and China. After the Cold War, some Americans argued that the diminished U.S. military presence in Europe would lead to a renewal of internal European rivalries, such as between France and Germany.11 Instead, the European Union has become the one contemporary empire that continues to expand, year after year, by absorbing new countries—with many more in line begging to join. Around the same time, the Pentagon declared its strategy to contain the rise of any great power rival, such as China. Yet China is methodically pursuing its own timeline to become the world’s paramount power, restoring its position as the “Middle Kingdom.” Like the European Union, it is turning its neighbor states into semi-sovereign provinces, subduing them not militarily but rather “through demographic expansion and economic integration. This used to be called imperialism—but the new term for it is globalization.   The United States, the EU, and China represent three distinct diplomatic styles—America’s coalition, Europe’s consensus, and China’s consultation—competing to lead the twenty-first century. During the Cold War, America’s anticommunist Truman Doctrine created robust “hub-and-spoke” alliances, as Prussia had in the nineteenth century.12 By contrast, its current “coalitions of the willing” style of conducting foreign policy negotiates diplomatic alignments on a transactional, issue-by-issue basis. America continues to demonstrate its eagerness to lead: It sets the tone in the UN Security Council and NATO, which commands operations well beyond its original European mandate into the Persian Gulf and Central Asia, and troubleshoots many disputes worldwide. But with individualism as America’s creed, its overwhelming emphasis on self-interest results in little diplomatic trust-building. Instead, a short-term focus creates confusion among shifting counterterrorism, democratization, and economic liberalization agendas, while continued reliance on military threats alienates even allies. America today best embodies Charles de Gaulle’s quip about (in his case, France) having no friends, only interests.   The European Union is a revolutionary institution with the potential to reverse the westbound rotation of geopolitical centrality.13 As the most highly evolved form of interstate governance, the EU aggregates countries in a manner more resembling a corporate merger than a political conquest, with net gains in both trade and territory from North Africa to the Caucasus.14 EU laws supersede the majority of national laws, and most European trade is within the EU. While its members remain sovereign nation-states, they increasingly work together to project their common vision outward. Outside of the military domain, Europe’s power potential is greater than that of America, for it is the world’s largest market and the de facto standard setter for technology and regulation. European foreign policy reflects all of the virtues and vices of consensus-oriented diplomacy: It is animated by the same inclusive spirit of Europe’s welfare policies, even if the process of negotiating and implementing strategies among more than two dozen member-states is immensely time-consuming. Ultimately, however, once EU policies are decided, they consistently pull more and more countries toward the European way.  

Editorial Reviews

“A fascinating, colorful, and always intelligent tour through a new world.”–Fareed Zakaria“A savvy, streetwise primer on dozens of individual countries that adds up to a coherent theory of global politics.”–Robert D. Kaplan“Confident in his predictions and bold in his recommendations . . . Khanna’s book is written with ambition, scope, and verve that sets it apart from the usual foreign policy tome.”–Andrei Cherny, The New York Sun“A panoramic overview that boldly addresses the dilemmas of the world that our next president will confront.”–Zbigniew Brzezinski“Khanna is something of a foreign policy whiz kid.”–Raymond Bonner, The New York Times Book Review“[A] sweeping, often audacious survey of contemporary geopolitics . . . moves at lightning speed.”–William Grimes, The New York Times