On the New World Disorder

By | February 28, 2011

Alan Beattie, the FT’s international economy editor, reviews three books on the New World (dis)Order. The books:

The Unfinished Global Revolution: The Limits of Nations and the Pursuit of a New Politics, by Mark Malloch Brown, Allen Lane, RRP£25, 272 pages

How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance, by Parag Khanna, Random House, RRP$26, 272 pages

How the West was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices Ahead, by Dambisa Moyo, Allen Lane, RRP£14.99, 240 pages.

The review is fairly long, but every bit of it is worth your time. The concluding paragraphs:

Perhaps it is not surprising that by far the most impressive of these three attempts to make sense of governing the world is by the author who has actually tried doing it [that would be Malloch Brown]: been there, done that, written the latrine sanitation handbook. As legacies go, that is a pretty good one. Neither wild pessimism about western governments nor bright-eyed optimism about the possibilities of bypassing them is a constructive response to the great global challenges of war, famine and pestilence.

Governments are an inevitable part of most solutions to global problems. They are not succeeding particularly well, and nor are the multilateral institutions that co-ordinate them. But that is an argument for driving forward the slow and halting process of trying to make them work better. These are difficult times, but they are neither a new Middle Ages nor the end of western civilisation.

Thanks to Akin for the link.