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Worldviews of Aspiring Powers: Domestic Foreign Policy Debates in China, India, Iran, Japan, and Russia Paperback – October 3, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0199937493 ISBN-10: 0199937494 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


"These essays are an innovative effort to identify and explain common themes in the foreign policy thinking and formulation of the world's most important aspiring powers. An attentive reader will come away with a sharper understanding of both the pace and the direction of global change and the implications of that change for American power abroad."-Jim Hoagland, The Washington Post

"The authors and editors of this volume should be commended for showing readers how the varied histories, religions, and traditions of leading countries inform their approach to world affairs. Policymakers and students alike will find this book essential reading as they struggle to make sense of and make policy in our 21st century world."- Walter Russell Mead, Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

"The old division of domestic and foreign policy is over. But the emerging foreign policy views of the rising powers are not well understood. I welcome this volume as a serious attempt to explain some of the big new forces reshaping the international system."-Rt. Hon. David Miliband, UK Foreign Secretary 2007-2010

"This volume is imaginatively conceived and wonderfully executed. Addressing this theme requires a combination of historical scholarship, political judgment, and analytical acuity. The essays in the volume display these qualities in ample measure. There is no volume of comparable scope. It ought to command wide readership."-Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President & Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research

"The book provides a useful way of examining foreign policy across countries. ... Highly recommended." -CHOICE

About the Author

Henry R. Nau is Professor of Political Science at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, and author of The Myth of America's Decline (Oxford UP).

Deepa M. Ollapally is Associate Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and Associate Research Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, and author of The Politics of Extremism in South Asia (Cambridge UP).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199937494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199937493
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.8 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,446,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ray on October 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
In a fast changing world, the worldviews of "aspiring" powers deserve greater attention. So a book that claims to offer foreign policy perspectives of "aspiring" powers merits careful reading. But this is an odd volume. It examines the foreign policy discourse in five "aspiring" powers, including Iran, one of the world's most heavily sanctioned countries, but not the discourse in others that also aspire for a bigger role, such as Brazil, Germany, Turkey, South Africa and Australia. For example, Turkey is much more of a regional power than isolated Iran. Japan became a world economic power by the 1980s and has since been overtaken by China in GDP terms. But is Japan in 2012 an "aspiring" power or a declining power?

The book is a compilation of workshop papers. The chapter on China is insightful. But the same cannot be said about the chapters on India, Japan, Russia and Iran.

Some of the sweeping generalizations in the book have been highlighted by the labeling of specific individuals and their views as "hyper-nationalists," "nationalists," "neo-nationalists," "realists," "idealists," and "globalists." Not only does such categorization oversimplify the views of the protagonists, many of the cited views actually do not fit with the category in which they have been placed. If anything, the categorization of views reflects more the authors' personal biases.
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