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Power & Responsibility: Building International Order in an Era of Transnational Threats (Brookings Publications (All Titles)) Hardcover – January 27, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


"What are the right kinds of institutions to order a globalized world, where transnational forces "that have stitched the world together can also tear it apart"? This question is addressed with notable range and sophistication in this collaborative work by three individuals with significant research and frontline experience in the area of global policy-making." — Ethics & International Affairs

"What is most innovative is the book's institutional agenda, which comes out of extensive consultations with officials and experts worldwide. This is one of the best efforts yet to provide a coherent synthesis of the security-interdependence worldview." —John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

" Power and Responsibility analyzes the threats that surround us, but does not yield to the temptation to despair. It rightly points out that in a world of problems without passports, our security and prosperity depend on unprecedented international cooperation, and that such cooperation is within our reach. By accepting that sovereignty incurs responsibilities and by strengthening international institutions, governments can create an international order in which all can be safe and thrive. This book makes a compelling argument for such an approach." —Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of United Nations

"The vision, ideas, and solutions the authors put forward in this book have the potential to redeem American foreign policy." —from the Foreword by Brent Scowcroft

"I salute Power and Responsibility for undertaking the challenging endeavor of strengthening and improving our current means of international cooperation. This book sets a platform from which to take forward the vital agenda of restoring American leadership and creating a more effective international system." —Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State

"Offers timely, relevant, and responsible advice on America's future foreign policy. The authors address our need to strengthen our alliances and forge relationships based on common interests." —Chuck Hagel, former U.S. Senator (R.-Neb.)

"An essential guide to the critical decisions we must make to create a world where all people are secure and can prosper. The authors persuasively argue that in this age of transnational threats, we are compelled to think anew about the nature of power and the role of responsibility. And they challenge us to 'use the urgency of looming existential security challenges to prompt global action before their worst consequences are felt.'" —William J. Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense

" Power and Responsibility is that rare book that combines a major conceptual breakthrough with relevant and practical policy prescriptions. Scholars, policymakers, and all practitioners of statecraft should take heed." —Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

About the Author

Bruce Jones is director of the Managing Global Insecurity initiative, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and director of the Center on International Cooperation at New York University.

Carlos Pascual is the United States ambassador to Mexico and former vice president and director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution.

Stephen John Stedman is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former assistant secretary general and special adviser to the secretary general of the United Nations.

Product Details

  • Series: Brookings Publications (All Titles)
  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815747063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815747062
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,787,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jones served as the senior external advisor for the World Bank's 2011 World Development Report, Conflict, Security and Development, and in March 2010 was appointed by the United Nations secretary-general as a member of the senior advisory group to guide the Review of International Civilian Capacities. He is also consulting professor at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and professor (by courtesy) at New York University's department of politics.

Jones holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, and was Hamburg fellow in conflict prevention at Stanford University.

He is co-author with Carlos Pascual and Stephen Stedman of Power and Responsibility: Building International Order in an Era of Transnational Threats (Brookings Press, 2009); co-editor with Shepard Forman and Richard Gowan of Cooperating for Peace and Security (Cambridge University Press, 2009); and author of Peacemaking in Rwanda: The Dynamics of Failures (Lynne Reinner, 2001). Other publications include: Beyond Bloc: The West, Rising Powers and Interest-Based International Cooperation (The Stanley Foundation, October 2011); Libya and the Responsibilities of Power (Survival, June 2011); The G8 and the Threat of Bloc Politics in the International System (May 2011); The Changing Balance of Influence and U.S. Strategy (March 2011); How Do Rising Powers Rise? (Survival, December 2010); and Making Multilateralism Work: How the G-20 Can Help the United Nations (The Stanley Foundation, April 2010). His most recent book, Still Ours to Lead: America, Rising Powers, and the Tension between Rivalry and Restraint, will be released in March 2014.

Jones served as senior advisor in the office of the secretary-general during the U.N. reform effort leading up to the World Summit 2005, and in the same period was acting secretary of the Secretary-General's Policy Committee. In 2004-2005, he was deputy research director of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. From 2000-2002 he was special assistant to and acting chief of staff at the office of the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Saleem Ali on March 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
At the start of any new administration in the United States, there is a rush to offer advice from many quarters. Ideas are deliberated at think tanks and university departments to make an imprint on the fresh stock of decision-makers that are moving into the halls of power in Washington. Often such grand visions end up being no more than mere grandstanding. Happily, that is not the case with "Power and Responsibility," which provides a clear and crisp set of guidelines for the new administration as well as for international institutions.

Crafted after a detailed consultation process involving a range of global leaders, the three authors have provided a definitive case for the doctrine of "responsible sovereignty." The Sudanese-scholar and diplomat Francis Deng coined this phrase that was adopted by former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan as an antidote to the divisive rhetoric of Westphalian sovereignty that often trumps any credible critique of member states. Two of the authors Bruce Jones and Stephen John Stedman worked at the United Nations while Carlos Pascual is a former U.S. ambassador and Vice President of the Brookings Institution. Having witnessed the decision-making process closely at various levels, the authors have a refreshingly pragmatic tone while also providing some bold new ideas and themes.

Some of the significant recommendations in the book include:

a) Reforming the UN Security Council to include long-term non-veto members that would over time become permanent members. The authors recognize that ideally there should be a more equitable system of governance but they make this suggestion for the sake of "marrying what is right with what is doable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
EDIT of 7 Jan 09. I got halfway through another book last night and now understand the Princeton-based idea that the US has enough power to demand changes and that earlier "balance of power" constraints might not apply. On the one hand, this is an idea worth pursuing, but if you know nothing of strategy, intelligence (decision-support) and how to integrate Whole of Government and Multinational Engagement campaigns against the ten threats by harmonizing the twelve policies and engaging the eight demographic leaders, then this is just academic blabber. On the other hand, this is 100% on the money--if the USA were a Smart Nation with an honest government, now is the time to lead--but it's not going to come out of the ivory tower or politicals in waiting for their next job, it will come from the bottom (Epoch B), the poor, and the eight demographic powers (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, and Wild Cards such as South Africa, Thailan, and Turkey, with the Nordics and BENELUX always lurking positively on the fringes.

Original review:

I tried hard to find enough in this book to warrant five stars, but between the pedestrian threats, buying in blindly to the climate change fraud, assertions such as "There is no prospect for international stability and prosperity in the next twenty years that does not rest on U.S. power and leadership," and the general obliviousness of the authors to multiple literatures highly relevant to their ostensible objective of answering the question "how do we organize our globalized world," this has to stay a four.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
haven't finished it yet- so far it is an ok read if I had more time I would finish it unfortunately this is not one that keeps me up reading.
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