Essay about Post American World

Words: 1300
Pages: 6

Fareed Zakaria Post American World Book Review

Few would disagree that the previous U.S. administration of George W. Bush Jr. plunged America’s international reputation to an all-time low. Even as the country staggers to recover international goodwill under President Barack Obama, a homegrown credit crisis, captured most strikingly in the collapse of several iconic institutions of American industry like Citigroup and General Motors, has brought the U.S. economy to a standstill. Few would doubt that America will eventually recover from both crises. Be that as it may, the unipolar moment, centered on the preeminence of American power, purse, and presence may well and truly be over, or so we are often told. What powers will take the place
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Of particular interest is the book’s discussion of the key players in two chapters, provocatively titled “The Challenger” and “The Ally,” which betrays Fareed’s abiding interest in the theme of great power politics. As the challenger, Fareed recognizes – as do many others – that China’s participation on the global stage is reshaping the economic and political realities. Beijing is basically juggling the same two forces that more or less define the post-American world, namely, globalization and nationalism, and its path of advancement is via an asymmetrical strategy through which it “gradually expands its economic ties, acts calmly and moderately, and slowly enlarges its sphere of influence, seeking only greater weight, friendship, and influence in the world…[and] quietly positions itself as the alternative to a hectoring and arrogant America.” Acknowledging China as a new challenge that the United States is largely unprepared to tackle, Fareed notes that in order to address this challenge, the American political elite have turned their gaze to India, which is described as an alternative rising power, close to, and hot on Chinese heels. The attention paid to the role of China, and to a lesser extent India, in this reconfiguration of world power, however, touches on the issue of nationalism, and in particular, the question of a resurgent nationalism. Indeed, as Fareed observes himself in his reflections on his anecdotes, emergent