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World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History

World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History

As Henry Kissinger observes in this magisterial book, there has never been a true world order. For most of history, civilizations have defined their own concepts of order, each one envisioning its distinct principles as universally relevant. Now, as international affairs take place on a global basis, these historic concepts of world order are meeting. Every region participates in questions of high policy in every other, often instantaneously - yet there is no consensus among the major actors about the rules and limits guiding this process, or its ultimate destination. The result is mounting tension.

Blending historical insight with prognostication, World Order is a meditation from one of our era's most prominent diplomats on the 21st century's ultimate challenge: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historic perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology and ideological extremism.

Introduction: The Question of World Order

Chapter 1: Europe: The Pluralistic International Order

Chapter 2: The European Balance-of-Power System and Its End

Chapter 3: Islamism and the Middle East: A World in Disorder

Chapter 4: The United States and Iran: Approaches to Order

Chapter 5: The Multiplicity of Asia

Chapter 6: Toward an Asian Order: Confrontation or Partnership?

Chapter 7: “Acting for All Mankind”: The United States and Its Concept of Order

Chapter 8: The United States: Ambivalent Superpower

Chapter 9: Technology, Equilibrium, and Human Consciousness

Conclusion: World Order in Our Time?


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