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No One's World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn Hardcover – March 1, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0199739394 ISBN-10: 0199739390 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


"No One's World makes a bold claim that we are seeing not just a shift to a more multipolar world, but the emergence of "multiple modernities" in which Western values are no longer dominant. This is a debatable point, but one that is cogently argued by one of the keenest observers of international politics." --Francis Fukuyama, author of The Origins of Political Order and The End of History and the Last Man

"Charles Kupchan provides a refreshingly sober, clear-eyed, and controversial take on what the emerging world might really look like. You don't have to agree with all his prescriptions, but his well-informed and crisply-written analysis of the historical forces that have shaped today's world and what they mean for tomorrow is a valuable contribution on the most important topic of our time." --Robert Kagan, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of Dangerous Nation

"One of America's leading international scholars offers an original look at the world's future. He envisions a new global circle consisting of a revived West and emerging powers-a world without a center of gravity that will require more consensus and more tolerance of difference. Provocative and challenging." --Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and former New York Times columnist

"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

About 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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199739390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199739394
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. Kimbrough on March 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This election year has seen many authors fixated on the decline of America. With economic hard times and the shifting of the balance of power, America's global political dominance is declining in a world that is moving towards a more "multipolar" world or "No Ones's World", according to Charles Kupchan's book. In his words, his main thesis or Argument is "This book is the first to argue that the next world will be dominated by no country or region".

He continues throughout the rest of the chapters presenting his valid arguments and analysis. He explains the rise of the West and its global dominance at the end of WWII and how the "Western Way" "Bested the Rest". He turns next to the predicted (possible) future loss of power and a potential power vacuum in geopolitics. Further, he writes there is no alternative country or region that will ascend to a world which has been dominated by the United States and it is for the first time in history that the world will have no one global dominate force, but many. He discusses the rise of "new" powers in the world and as he believes the "Western way" is not being universalized (his words) with these new rising powers of China, India, and Brazil. Our ways are too different and were based on sociological & economic conditions unique to the US & Europe and does not fit the value systems of these new "rising" powers. He further says the end result will be a potential conflict on how the future world will be managed and how or what policies will be implemented.

In his final Chapter "Managing No one's World", he explains his view on how this new world will work, if it does at all.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By H. Peter Nennhaus on April 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This treatise casts a view into the world's future and reveals a surprising number of troubling challenges. Beginning within the next two decades, a tectonic power shift from the West to several other countries is about to transpire with China being the most prominent beneficiary. The operating mechanism is twofold: on one hand there is the recent decline of the economic, financial and political performance of Europe and America and, on the other, the rapid catch-up of the BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. This stark realization gives rise to a sobering soul searching as to the West's liabilities and failures, their origin, nature, and prognosis. In a clinically stringent survey, Charles Kupchan lists the tasks we must accomplish, if we want the transition to be an orderly, peaceful and beneficial process instead of permitting the family of nations to get disrupted in an anarchic, jealous, and destructive confrontation.

Among his almost 20 conclusions, here are four of them: 1. As the title of the book indicates, our present single superpower system will enter into a multi-power world lacking a solitary leader. 2. Each of the rising geographic regions will pursue its own way of modernization as determined by their cultural traditions. Few if any of them will adhere to liberal democracy and rather follow their accustomed autocracy systems. Thus, China will cling to its communal autocracy, Russia to its paternal autocracy, the Muslem region to its religious and tribal autocracy, and so on. 3. America will have to retrench its global ambitions to a formula commensurate with is diminishing means. 4. Among the globally acceptable fundamental principles that are to rule the future, the West must agree to the redefinition of regime legitimacy.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on June 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Author Kupchan disagrees with those believing democracy, capitalism, and nationalism will ensure that the West will continue to dominate the world. He believes this century will not 'belong' to America, China, Asia, the West, or anyone else.

His book begins by recounting the West's ascent to global preeminence between 1500 and 1800. The initial main driver was a product of its political weakness that allowed socioeconomic ferment in Europe. Merchants, intellectuals, and serfs challenged the monarchy, aristocracy, and the church. The Reformation set the stage for intellectual advances by exposing religion to rational inquiry. The growing costs of the modern state (eg. often involved in wars between one faction/nation and another) also forced monarchs to share power in order for the citizens to accept these new costs. Another benefit of the rising middle class was that it provided the economic and intellectual foundations for the Industrial Revolution, and that in turn helped bring improved education, conscription, etc.

More rigid hierarchical orders in the Ottoman Empire, India, China, and Japan held back their transformation. Self-imposed isolation in China and Japan also held those nations back. During the 18th century the development of ocean-going vessels with heavy guns enabled Europe to dominate. The eventual spread of the West's founding ideas was largely a product of its material dominance, not the universal appeal of those ideas. The fall of the Soviet Union also helped.

WWII brought an end to Europe's run as the globe's center of gravity - they'd been devastated by the war and U.S. forced decolonization. American believed they could use their power to order the world toward democratic capitalism - eg. Germany and Japan.
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