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Power and Responsibility

Building International Order in an Era of Transnational Threats

Bruce Jones, Carlos Pascual, and Stephen John Stedman

Publication Year: 2009

"The aim of the Managing Global Insecurity project is to launch a reform effort of the global security system in 2009. That task is both ambitious and urgent.... The time to act is now." —from the Foreword by Javier Solana

The twenty-first century will be defined by security threats unconstrained by borders —from economic instability, climate change, and nuclear proliferation to conflict, poverty, terrorism, and disease. The greatest test of global leadership will be building partnerships and institutions for cooperation that can meet the challenge. Power and Responsibility describes how American leadership can rebuild international order to promote global security and prosperity for today's transnational world.

Power & Responsibility establishes a new foundation for international security: "responsible sovereignty," or the notion that sovereignty entails obligations and duties toward other states as well as one's own citizens. Governments must cooperate across borders to safeguard common resources and tackle common threats.

Power & Responsibility argues that in order to advance its own interests, the United States must learn to govern in an interdependent world, exercise leadership through cooperation, and create new institutions with today's traditional and emerging powers. The result of a collaborative project on Managing Global Insecurity, the book also reflects the MGI project's global dialogue —extensive consultations in the United States and in regions around the world as well as discussions with the MGI project's Advisory Group, composed of prominent U.S. and international figures.

"The 2008 financial crisis has brought our global interconnectedness close to home. But economic insecurity is just one concern. Power and Responsibility provides a road map for building effective policies and legitimate global institutions to tackle today's suite of transnational challenges." —Kemal Dervi , administrator, UN Development Program

Published by: Brookings Institution Press

Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication, Quotes

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword I

Javier Solana

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pp. ix-x

The aim of the Managing Global Insecurity project is to launch a reform effort of the global security system in 2009. That task is both ambitious and urgent. ...

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Foreword II

Brent Scowcroft

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pp. xi-xii

For almost two decades American foreign policy has been trying to steer us to safety in uncharted waters. Globalization has eroded national borders everywhere and brought new transnational challenges to the fore: weak states, global warming, emerging deadly infectious diseases, and the possibility of catastrophic terrorism. ...

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pp. xiii-xviii

In its opening years, the twenty-first century has distinguished itself as an era of paradox. Globalization has created unprecedented opportunities to better the lives of people around the world. The ability to access global markets for capital, technology, and labor has allowed the private sector to amass wealth unfathomable fifty years ago. ...

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pp. xix-xxii

We could not have undertaken this ambitious agenda without the concerted support of a Managing Global Insecurity (MGI) project network that we built both domestically and internationally. The hub of this network is made up of our U.S. and international Advisory Group members. ...

Part I: Power

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1. Sovereignty's Last Best Chance

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pp. 3-20

When it comes to threats to global security, there has been no shortage of wake-up calls. Transnational criminals illegally traffic sophisticated nuclear technology to unstable regimes in the most conflict-prone regions of the world. Terrorist groups that seek to inflict mass casualties are found with training materials on using biological weapons. ...

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2. Interests and Order: The United States and the Major and Rising Powers

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pp. 21-44

An international order based on responsible sovereignty must be in the interest of those actors who have the power to build it. Softhearted appeals to the common good are insufficient. The primary question is whether the resulting order provides the vision, institutions, and tools to enable major and rising powers to address the large and complex agenda of transnational crises and challenges before them. ...

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3. Power and Institutions: An Effective International Architecture for Responsible Sovereignty

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pp. 45-72

An international order based on responsible sovereignty will require a new U.S. foreign policy that seeks cooperation to mitigate transnational threats, invests in and strengthens international institutions to sustain cooperation, and signals its support for the international rule of law as the best guarantor of U.S. security and prosperity. ...

Part II: Responsibility

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4. Arresting Climate Change

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pp. 75-106

Climate change poses an existential challenge: either all the world’s major economies must join together to stop global warming or the world will risk a wave of catastrophe that will change life as we know it. A rise in global sea levels, changes in precipitation patterns, and an increase in extreme weather may be felt ...

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5. The Second Nuclear Ages

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pp. 107-138

We have entered a second nuclear age.1 At the dawn of the first, the framers of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) believed that they could create a firewall between nuclear technology for peaceful uses and nuclear technology for weapons. ...

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6. Security in the Biological Century

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pp. 139-169

New knowledge, technology, and applications from biology promise to transform society, just as the industrial and information revolutions did in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Revolutionary discoveries in the life sciences have the potential to reshape the worlds of health, food production, energy, climate change, and economics, ...

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7. Managing Civil Violence and Regional Conflict

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pp. 170-203

Failed states are both cause and manifestation of a breakdown in international order. States that cannot maintain the rule of law or provide for the well-being of their citizens are closely associated with civil violence and amplify the risk of transnational threats such as terrorism and deadly infectious disease. ...

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8. Combating Transnational Terrorism

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pp. 204-233

Terrorism was a constant companion to war and ideological struggle in the twentieth century, and at the start of the twenty-first, al Qaeda represents the most virulent form of the phenomenon the world has yet faced. Although the threat posed by terrorism has often been exaggerated, ...

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9. Strengthening the Pillars of Economic Security

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pp. 234-268

In the aftermath of the global depression of the 1930s and World War II, forty-four nations agreed to create the Bretton Woods institutions and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) to promote economic stability and peace. ...

Part III: Order

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10. The Hardest Case: The Broader Middle East

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pp. 271-301

The threats described in earlier chapters are real and mounting, but nowhere are they more acute than in the broader Middle East.1 From the Lebanese, Syrian, and Israeli-Palestinian crises to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, security challenges in the region have systemic implications. ...

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11. Urgency and Choice

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pp. 302-316

The vision put forward in this book will be difficult to achieve, and the opportunity to build the kind of order we describe is narrow. America’s scope for forging a world based on responsible sovereignty was greater in 2001 than now and greater still in 1993. ...


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pp. 317-346


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pp. 347-360

E-ISBN-13: 9780815701835
E-ISBN-10: 0815701837

Page Count: 360
Publication Year: 2009