Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order [NOOK Book]

Overview

Grand explanations of how to understand the complex twenty-first-century world have all fallen short–until now. In The Second World, the brilliant young scholar Parag Khanna takes readers on a thrilling global tour, one that shows how America’s dominant moment has been suddenly replaced by a geopolitical marketplace wherein the European Union and China compete with the United States to shape world order on their own terms.

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Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order

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Overview

Grand explanations of how to understand the complex twenty-first-century world have all fallen short–until now. In The Second World, the brilliant young scholar Parag Khanna takes readers on a thrilling global tour, one that shows how America’s dominant moment has been suddenly replaced by a geopolitical marketplace wherein the European Union and China compete with the United States to shape world order on their own terms.

This contest is hottest and most decisive in the Second World: pivotal regions in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and East Asia. Khanna explores the evolution of geopolitics through the recent histories of such underreported, fascinating, and complicated countries as Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Colombia, Libya, Vietnam, and Malaysia–nations whose resources will ultimately determine the fate of the three superpowers, but whose futures are perennially uncertain as they struggle to rise into the first world or avoid falling into the third.

Informed, witty, and armed with a traveler’s intuition for blending into diverse cultures, Khanna mixes copious research with deep reportage to remake the map of the world. He depicts second-world societies from the inside out, observing how globalization divides them into winners and losers along political, economic, and cultural lines–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 also 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. He captures the most elusive formula in international affairs: how to think like a country.

In the twenty-first century, globalization is the main battlefield of geopolitics, and America itself runs the risk of descending into the second world if it does not renew itself and redefine its role in the world.

Comparable in scope and boldness to Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man and Samuel P. Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Parag Khanna’s The Second World will be the definitive guide to world politics for years to come.

“A savvy, streetwise primer on dozens of individual countries that adds up to a coherent theory of global politics.”
–Robert D. Kaplan, author of Eastward to Tartary and Warrior Politics

“A panoramic overview that boldly addresses the dilemmas of the world that our next president will confront.”
–Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor

"Parag Khanna's fascinating book takes us on an epic journey around the multipolar world, elegantly combining historical analysis, political theory, and eye-witness reports to shed light on the battle for primacy between the world's new empires."
–Mark Leonard, Executive Director, European Council on Foreign Relations

"Khanna, a widely recognized expert on global politics, offers an study of the 21st century's emerging "geopolitical marketplace" dominated by three "first world" superpowers, the U.S., Europe and China... The final pages of his book warn eloquently of the risks of imperial overstretch combined with declining economic dominance and deteriorating quality of life. By themselves those pages are worth the price of a book that from beginning to end inspires reflection."
–Publishers Weekly


From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Charles Gati
In this fact-filled volume full of pithy observations and summaries, [Khanna] identifies "three relatively equal centers of influence: Washington, Brussels, and Beijing." He is not the first to argue that the European Union and China have become our competitors for global influence; the point was made years ago by, among others, Charles Kupchan in The End of the American Era. Nonetheless, Khanna's study is noteworthy, primarily for his analysis of "the second world": some 100 transitional countries, such as Brazil, Ukraine and Iran, that do not qualify either as rich advanced industrial states or as least developed nations…Khanna, who directs a global governance initiative at the New America Foundation, is a serious scholar. He has read widely. He correctly calls attention to our growing inability to convince or cajole even as we continue to warn and intimidate.
—The Washington Post
William Grimes
…sweeping, often audacious survey of contemporary geopolitics…The Second World is rewarding simply as a primer on contemporary geopolitics. Anyone curious about the lay of the land in Algeria or Tajikistan can get answers, and a dash of local color, in Mr. Khanna's succinct chapters, which envelop the reader in a whirlwind of facts and figures…
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Khanna, a widely recognized expert on global politics, offers an study of the 21st century's emerging "geopolitical marketplace" dominated by three "first world" superpowers, the U.S., Europe and China. Each competes to lead the new century, pursuing that goal in the "third world": select eastern European countries, east and central Asia, the Middle East Latin America, and North Africa. The U.S. offers military protection and aid. Europe offers deep reform and economic association. China offers full-service, condition-free relationships. Each can be appealing; none has obvious advantages. The key to Khanna's analysis, however, is his depiction of a "second world": countries in transition. They range in size and population from heavily peopled states like Brazil and Indonesia to smaller ones such as Malaysia. Khanna interprets the coming years as being shaped by the race to win the second world-and in the case of the U.S., to avoid becoming a second-world country itself. The final pages of his book warn eloquently of the risks of imperial overstretch combined with declining economic dominance and deteriorating quality of life. By themselves those pages are worth the price of a book that from beginning to end inspires reflection. (Mar. 11)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
George Orwell was right: The future will see three contending world powers, their alliances and rivalries with one another ever shifting, and scarcely any peace. So says think-tanker Khanna, a fellow at the New America Foundation, who posits that the world turns on three empires: the United States, the European Union and China. "Big is back," he writes. "It is inter-imperial relations-not international or inter-civilizational-that shape the world. Empires-not civilizations-give geography its meaning." These great superpowers, he adds in a somewhat questionable metaphor, are like bumper cars, sure to careen into each other at some point but without any knowledge of how fast they'll be hit. History tells us that empires are transitory things, while the poor will be with us always. Somewhere in the middle are the states of the "second world," which "are frequently both first- and third-world at the same time," mostly without a middle class but frequently with plenty of wealth and resources. Khanna, in the manner of Robert Kaplan, travels widely in these pages, visiting and writing about such far-flung places as Xinjiang, Chile, Iran and Belgium, as well as the capitals and principal cities of the empires. The second-world states, he suggests, will, like Turkey, find it expedient to maintain relations with all three. Turkey, for instance, will seek ties with Russia and China while seeking partnership in the EU and American-led alliances alike. Thanks to the Iraq War, he notes, the scale is being tipped around the world between the "two Wests" in the EU's favor, while China is extending its international influence to places such as Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, which "now resembles Iran prior tothe overthrow of the Shah."The near future, Khanna provocatively writes, will see more seesawing. But, he adds, "the tripolar world should be thought of as a stool: With two legs it cannot stand long; with three it can be stable."
From the Publisher
“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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588366764
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Parag Khanna
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 in India, Khanna was raised in the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Germany. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and is completing his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics. He has written for major global publications such as The New York Times and Financial Times and appeared on CNN and other television media around the world. Having traveled in close to one hundred countries. He is a member of the Explorers Club.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition ix

Introduction: Inter-Imperial Relations xiii

Part I: The West's East

1 Brussels: The New Rome 3

2 The Russian Devolution 10

3 Ukraine: From Border to Bridge 16

4 The Balkans: Eastern Questions 26

5 Turkey: Marching East and West 36

6 The Caucasian Corridor 47

Conclusion: Stretching Europe 60

Part II: Affairs of the Heartland

7 The Silk Road and the Great Game 65

8 The Russia That Was 71

9 Tibet And Xinjiang: The New Bamboo Curtain 78

10 Kazakhstan: "Happiness is Multiple Pipelines" 85

11 Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: Sovereign of Everything, Master of Nothing 93

12 Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan: Men Behaving Badly 98

13 Afghanistan and Pakistan: Taming South-Central Asia 108

Conclusion: A Change of Heart 115

Part III: The End of the Monroe Doctrine

14 The New Rules of the Game 121

15 Mexico: The Umbilical Cord 132

16 Venezuela: Bolivar's Revenge 137

17 Colombia: the Andean Balkans? 144

18 Brazil: The Southern Pole 152

19 Argentina and Chile: Very Fraternal Twins 159

Conclusion: Beyond Monroe 166

Part IV: In Search of the "Middle East"

20 The Shattered Belt 171

21 The Maghreb: Europe's Southern Shore 176

22 Egypt: Between Bureaucrats and Theocrats 191

23 The Mashreq: Road Maps 204

24 The Former Iraq: Buffer, Black Hole, and Broken Boundary 220

25 Iran: Virtues and Vices 227

26 Gulf Streams 234

Conclusion: Arabian Sand Dunes 252

Part V: Asia for Asians

27 From Outside in to Inside Out 257

28 China's First-World Seduction 269

29 Malaysia and Indonesia: The GreaterChinese Co-Prosperity Sphere 278

30 Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam: The Inner Triangle 292

31 Size Matters: The Four Chinas 300

Conclusion: The Search for Equilibrium in a Non-American World 321

Acknowledgments 343

Bibliography 353

Notes 377

Index 443

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2008

    Must read by everyone!

    'The Second World' is a great book that the author 'Parag Khanna' does an awesome job to describe the world. When you read the chapters,you feel like you are there with his smooth writing, anyone can read from all ages and can get the idea.You can just read in a day and you will see you won't let go from your hands. I enjoy reading it. I just congrat to the author to give us a book like this. I am sure that many people who reads the book around the world would agree with me! Just an exceptional book! Bestseller for sure!

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    Posted December 14, 2009

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