NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this provocative, startling book, Robert D. Kaplan, the bestselling author of Monsoon and Balkan Ghosts, offers a revelatory new prism through which to view global upheavals and to understand what lies ahead for continents and countries around the world. Bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the recent and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world’s hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands. He then applies the lessons learned to the present crises in Europe, Russia, China, the Indian Subcontinent, Turkey, Iran, and the Arab Middle East. The result is a holistic interpretation of the next cycle of conflict throughout Eurasia, a visionary glimpse into a future that can be understood only in the context of temperature, land allotment, and other physical certainties. A brilliant rebuttal to thinkers who suggest that globalism will trump geography, this indispensable work shows how timeless truths and natural facts can help prevent this century’s looming cataclysms. Praise for The Revenge of Geography “[An] ambitious and challenging new book . . . [The Revenge of Geography] displays a formidable grasp of contemporary world politics and serves as a powerful reminder that it has been the planet’s geophysical configurations, as much as the flow of competing religions and ideologies, that have shaped human conflicts, past and present.”—Malise Ruthven, The New York Review of Books “Robert D. Kaplan, the world-traveling reporter and intellectual whose fourteen books constitute a bedrock of penetrating exposition and analysis on the post-Cold War world . . . strips away much of the cant that suffuses public discourse these days on global developments and gets to a fundamental reality: that geography remains today, as it has been throughout history, one of the most powerful drivers of world events.”—The National Interest “Kaplan plunges into a planetary review that is often thrilling in its sheer scale . . . encyclopedic.”—The New Yorker “[The Revenge of Geography] serves the facts straight up. . . . Kaplan’s realism and willingness to face hard facts make The Revenge of Geography a valuable antidote to the feel-good manifestoes that often masquerade as strategic thought.”—The Daily Beast
Unprecedented challenges await the future of the world's cities. Accelerating population pressure, climate change, food insecurity, poverty and geopolitical instability – in the face of such problems our current attempts at producing a sustainable agenda for the world's cities appear fragmented and inadequate. Fresh thinking is needed. In Remaking Cities, renowned design theorist Tony Fry brings a conceptual design perspective to the challenge of urban sustainability and resilience. In a typically far-sighted and provocative work, Fry presents ideas and actions for 'metrofitting' – a new kind of practice in architecture and urban design. Metrofitting expands the technological concept of retrofit up to the city scale, placing social, cultural, political and ethical concerns at its heart. Metrofitting is not about visionary technology, it is about transforming existing cities by combining available resources with human creativity, prompted by new thinking about new and old urban problems. It requires overcoming outmoded Eurocentric assumptions of what constitutes a city, rethinking their forms and structures, and understanding their metabolic processes and social and economic functions. This book provides conceptually strong practical approaches that will ultimately change the whole way we view cities and the way the urban future is designed. Illustrated with international case studies of metrofitting in action, Remaking Cities will provoke and stimulate debate among architects, urban designers, and anyone concerned with the urban environment and social and cultural change.
A powerful and provocative exploration of how war has changed our society—for the better "War! . . . . / What is it good for? / Absolutely nothing," says the famous song—but archaeology, history, and biology show that war in fact has been good for something. Surprising as it sounds, war has made humanity safer and richer. In War! What Is It Good For?, the renowned historian and archaeologist Ian Morris tells the gruesome, gripping story of fifteen thousand years of war, going beyond the battles and brutality to reveal what war has really done to and for the world. Stone Age people lived in small, feuding societies and stood a one-in-ten or even one-in-five chance of dying violently. In the twentieth century, by contrast—despite two world wars, Hiroshima, and the Holocaust—fewer than one person in a hundred died violently. The explanation: War, and war alone, has created bigger, more complex societies, ruled by governments that have stamped out internal violence. Strangely enough, killing has made the world safer, and the safety it has produced has allowed people to make the world richer too. War has been history's greatest paradox, but this searching study of fifteen thousand years of violence suggests that the next half century is going to be the most dangerous of all time. If we can survive it, the age-old dream of ending war may yet come to pass. But, Morris argues, only if we understand what war has been good for can we know where it will take us next.
This book is a sweeping historical survey of the origins, development and nature of state power. It demonstrates that Eurasia is home to a dominant tradition of arbitrary rule mediated through military, civil and ecclesiastical servants and a marginal tradition of representative and responsible government through autonomous institutions. The former tradition finds expression in hierarchically organized and ideologically legitimated continental bureaucratic states while the latter manifests itself in the state of laws. In recent times, the marginal tradition has gained in popularity and has led to continental bureaucratic states attempting to introduce democratic and constitutional reforms. These attempts have rarely altered the actual manner in which power is exercised by the state and its elites given the deeper and historically rooted experience of arbitrary rule. Far from being remote, the arbitrary culture of power that emerged in many parts of the world continues to shape the fortunes of states. To ignore this culture of power and the historical circumstances that have shaped it comes at a high price, as indicated by the ongoing democratic recession and erosion of liberal norms within states that are democracies.
Is the United States still a "superpower"? How are the rising powers establishing themselves in international politics and security? What is the future of global stability? For over a decade, Bruce Jones has had a front-row seat as the emerging powers—principally China, India, and Brazil, but also Turkey, Indonesia, Korea, and others—thrust themselves onto the global stage. From Delhi to Doha to Beijing to Brasilia, he's met with the politicians, diplomats, business leaders, and scholars of those powers as they craft their strategies for rising influence—and with senior American officials as they forge their response. In Still Ours to Lead, Jones tells a nuanced story of American leadership. He artfully examines the tension between the impulse to rival the United States and the incentives for restraint and cooperation among the rising powers. That balance of rivalry and restraint provides the United States with a continued ability to solve problems and to manage crises at roughly the same rate as when American dominance was unquestioned. Maintaining the balance is central to the question of whether we will live in a stable or unstable system in the period to come. But it just so happens that this challenge plays to America's unique strength—its unparalleled ability to pull together broad and disparate coalitions for action. To succeed, America must adapt its leadership to new realities.
The best-selling author of Imperial Grunts and Hog Pilots explores the international power shift to countries in the Indian Ocean region while explaining how and why America must focus its resources there in order to protect specific political and economic interests.