Is This The End of the American Century?

This site features updates, analysis, discussion and comments related to the theme of my book published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2008 (hardbound) and 2009 (paperbound).

The Book

The End of the American Century documents the interrelated dimensions of American social, economic, political and international decline, marking the end of a period of economic affluence and world dominance that began with World War II. The war on terror and the Iraq War exacerbated American domestic weakness and malaise, and its image and stature in the world community. Dynamic economic and political powers like China and the European Union are steadily challenging and eroding US global influence. This global shift will require substantial adjustments for U.S. citizens and leaders alike.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Post American World, by Fareed Zakaria

The Post American World by Fareed Zakaria (Norton, 2008)

Newsweek editor and columnist Fareed Zakaria has written a thoughtful and thought-provoking book about America’s relative decline in the world, and “the rise of the rest”—especially China and India. These emerging powers are following a “third way,” not always the path or model of the United States, and in the process reshaping the international system. They are gaining regional and global influence not with military muscle or political power, but by the force of example, and by sheer economic bulk. Meanwhile, much of the world is moving “from anger to indifference” about the United States—from anti-Americanism to “post-Americanism.”

Zakaria compares this global shift to previous epochal changes, with the rise of the Western world, and the rise of the U.S. He sees the main challenge for the U.S. to get beyond our “dysfunctional” political system that has us debating trivia instead of coming to terms with globalization and a more diffuse international system that requires consultation, cooperation and compromise.

Curiously, though, he still refers to the U.S. as “the single superpower” in a unipolar world, and sees U.S. continued strength based on the dynamism of the U.S. economy. Recent events, however, suggest that even the vaunted U.S. economy may be pretty “dysfunctional.” The trends Zakaria describes may be faster and more dramatic than he expected.

(More on Zakaria coming soon to this blog)

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