No One's World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn

Overview

The world is on the cusp of a global turn. Between 1500 and 1800, the West sprinted ahead of other centers of power in Asia and the Middle East. Europe and the United States have dominated the world since. But today the West's preeminence is slipping away as China, India, Brazil and other emerging powers rise. Although most strategists recognize that the dominance of the West is on the wane, they are confident that its founding ideas—democracy, capitalism, and secular nationalism—will continue to spread, ensuring...

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Overview

The world is on the cusp of a global turn. Between 1500 and 1800, the West sprinted ahead of other centers of power in Asia and the Middle East. Europe and the United States have dominated the world since. But today the West's preeminence is slipping away as China, India, Brazil and other emerging powers rise. Although most strategists recognize that the dominance of the West is on the wane, they are confident that its founding ideas—democracy, capitalism, and secular nationalism—will continue to spread, ensuring that the Western order will outlast its primacy.

In No One's World, Charles A. Kupchan boldly challenges this view, arguing that the world is headed for political and ideological diversity; emerging powers will neither defer to the West's lead nor converge toward the Western way. The ascent of the West was the product of social and economic conditions unique to Europe and the United States. As other regions now rise, they are following their own paths to modernity and embracing their own conceptions of domestic and international order.

Kupchan contends that the Western order will not be displaced by a new great power or dominant political model. The twenty-first century will not belong to America, China, Asia, or anyone else. It will be no one's world. For the first time in history, the world will be interdependent—but without a center of gravity or global guardian.

More than simply diagnosing what lies ahead, Kupchan provides a detailed strategy for striking a bargain between the West and the rising rest by fashioning a new consensus on issues of legitimacy, sovereignty, and governance. Thoughtful, provocative, sweeping in scope, this work is nothing less than a global guidebook for the 21st century.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Contrary to the conventional wisdom that capitalism begets democracy, the developing world will supersede the West without emulating it, according to this shrewd treatise on the dawning international order. Kupchan (The End of the American Era), a Georgetown professor and former member of Clinton’s National Security Council, contrasts the distinctive political culture that allowed Europe and the United States to overshadow the world for centuries with the divergent characteristics of China, India, Brazil, and other countries that will soon dominate the global economy. While the West rose on the dynamism of a middle class that overthrew authoritarian state and church hierarchies, he argues, emerging powers will comprise disparate regimes—China’s powerful dirigiste state, theocracy in the Middle East, left-wing populism in Latin America—that may outperform the West’s increasingly gridlocked liberal democracies. (The author’s acerbic advice to the U.S. is to put its own house in order, “retrench” from overinvolvement abroad, demand “responsible governance” instead of formal democracy from other nations, and accept its relative decline gracefully.) Kupchan’s erudite but lucid and engaging comparative history sketches the big picture while highlighting the diversity and particularism of individual peoples; his is a warily hopeful forecast for an age without a dominant power. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

"Refreshingly avoids the parochialism that has defined recent debates over American decline. Moving beyond scholarly debates and election-season paeans to American exceptionalism, Kupchan urges readers to see the world as it is becoming, not how it used to be or how they might like it to be."-Foreign Affairs

"Charles Kupchan is an important and distinctive voice in an ongoing debate about the future shape of the international order. Contrary to those who argue that now is the time for the West to strengthen and extend existing rules, he cautions policymakers to prepare for a world of conflicting values and multiple paths to modernity and prosperity. The prospect of No One's World is not one that Western policymakers and pundits like to contemplate, which is all the more reason that they should read this book." --Anne-Marie Slaughter, Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University

"Lucid and engaging." --Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199739394
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles A. Kupchan is Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University and Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He served on the National Security Council during the Clinton presidency and is the author of How Enemies Become Friends and The End of the American Era. He lives in Washington, DC.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Turn Chapter 2 The Rise of the West Chapter 3 The Last Turn: The West Beats the Rest Chapter 4 The Next Turn: The Rise of the Rest Chapter 5 Alternatives to the Western Way Chapter 6 Reviving the West Chapter 7 Managing No One's World

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