A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order by Richard N. HaassAn examination of a world increasingly defined by disorder and a United States unable to shape the world in its image, from the president of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. The rules, policies, and institutions that have guided the world since World War II have largely run their course. Respect for sovereignty alone cannot uphold order in an age defined by global challenges from terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons to climate change and cyberspace. Meanwhile, great power rivalry is returning. Weak states pose problems just as confounding as strong ones. The United States remains the world’s strongest country, but American foreign policy has at times made matters worse, both by what the U.S. has done and by what it has failed to do. The Middle East is in chaos, Asia is threatened by China’s rise and a reckless North Korea, and Europe, for decades the world’s most stable region, is now anything but. As Richard Haass explains, the election of Donald Trump and the unexpected vote for “Brexit” signals that many in modern democracies reject important aspects of globalization, including borders open to trade and immigrants.
In A World in Disarray, Haass argues for an updated global operating system—call it world order 2.0—that reflects the reality that power is widely distributed and that borders count for less. One critical element of this adjustment will be adopting a new approach to sovereignty, one that embraces its obligations and responsibilities as well as its rights and protections. Haass also details how the U.S. should act towards China and Russia, as well as in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He suggests, too, what the country should do to address its dysfunctional politics, mounting debt, and the lack of agreement on the nature of its relationship with the world.
A World in Disarray is a wise examination, one rich in history, of the current world, along with how we got here and what needs doing. Haass shows that the world cannot have stability or prosperity without the United States, but that the United States cannot be a force for global stability and prosperity without its politicians and citizens reaching a new understanding.
A World in Disarray - Part 2
A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order
Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations since The first three chapters explore the dynamics of international relations before s, when balance of military power and economic independence was a guarantee against disarray. Based on many cases, Haas stresses the realms of international relations involving numerous actors — like cyberspace, public health and nuclear proliferation — and explains the reasons for the disarray that has emerged in the post—Cold War era, including governments prioritizing short-term interests over long-term goals. But such endeavors are time-consuming. Such goals can disrupt internal trajectories for any country and create a new source of risk for triggering unilateral actions or resorting to military force. US foreign policy has long been characterized by an openness to immigrants and trade, as well as longstanding commitments to allies.
Jump to navigation. The American -led system of alliances has become unstable as power has shifted away from the West, transnational dangers have proliferated, and regional orders have crumbled in Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia. And Haass detects an even deeper crisis: the breakdown of the four-centuries-old Westphalian system built around sovereign states. Since the seventeenth century, global order has rested on states, great powers , and the balance of power. But those old building blocks are now giving way as states lose influence and power diffuses to nonstate actors.
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The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: Haass. Penguin Press, Broadly, Haass argues that the United States must play an active role in the international community with the goal of creating a stable, peaceful world order. The author defines world order as a shared definition of legitimate foreign policy behavior, supported by an appropriate balance of power among states. Despite optimism at the end of the Cold War, Haass argues that the world has become a more unstable environment. Although there is no great power conflict, a number of smaller, regional conflicts have led to violence and political upheaval.