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Publisher's Summary

An 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 US 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. 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, Richard 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 US should act toward 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 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 the United States cannot be a force for global stability and prosperity without its politicians and citizens reaching a new understanding.
©2017 Richard Haass (P)2017 Penguin Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Dwayne Eberlein on 01-20-17

I look at the world politic and how we got here

oh well narrated and interesting look at World politics and how we got here. didn't agree with all of his analysis and solutions . but good discussion points

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Jasmeen Malhotra on 04-24-17

An interesting summary of the "Establishment" POV

This is required reading for anyone looking to understand geopolitics, because it represents one of the foundations of the discipline - how the game is played by those who are in it. Haass is very much the "Establishment". You need to temper this perspective by reading other authors, and also those from disciplines such as international law and human rights, economics and development.

The book can basically be categorised into two halves - introduction and basics of foreign policy, which many readers will be familiar with, but is a good place to start for beginners (as long as you temper it with other POVs). The second half is Haass' own theory for how international relations should develop in a globalised future - under, of course, the kind and fatherly eye of the USA.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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3 out of 5 stars
By MR K Hayes on 06-23-17

Didn't feel I read too many new incites

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I don't feel I learned much that was new

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

HIs ideas on what the USA should do next which was mostly the opposite of the Trump agenda

What does Richard Haass and Dan Woren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

not sure what this question means.

Could you see A World in Disarray being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?


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4 out of 5 stars
By Chong Beng Lim on 03-30-17

An illuminating book about the state of the world

This books explains about the past, current, and possible future of the world. It has a wealth of illuminating and minute details of the world. The author is eminently experienced in foreign policy of the U.S.

However, the information provided is biased towards the US as the centre of the word. Not everyone would think this way. It's a great book to possess if you don't harbour any hatred against the country

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Customer Reviews

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2 out of 5 stars
By Mr. G. Trabakoulas on 07-22-17


it was very biased unfortunately. Obvuoius failures of the Republicans where glossed over and the opposite emphasized. Democratic successes start on a positive and end with criticism, Republican start with criticism and end with apologies or praise.

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2 out of 5 stars
By Michelle on 02-07-17

why did haas bother?

unbearably pedestrian
rehashing well known stuff in a boring way
bureaucratic English, turgid...
to be avoided. The facts in the early chapters have been reported elsewhere, better. I don't know about the later chapters as I gave up.

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