Magazine article Foreign Affairs

All Measures Short of War: The Contest for the Twenty-First Century and the Future of American Power

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

All Measures Short of War: The Contest for the Twenty-First Century and the Future of American Power

Article excerpt

All Measures Short of War: The Contest for the Twenty-first Century and the Future of American Power BY THOMAS J. WRIGHT. Yale University Press, 2017, 288 pp.

If the U.S.-led liberal international order erodes, what will take its place? In this smart book, Wright argues that the world is slowly inching back to its normal state of great-power competition and zerosum conflict. What many observers saw as a post-Cold War global victory of liberalism and multilateral cooperation was, in Wright's realist interpretation, just the temporary dominance of the United States and its ideas. China and Russia were never on a path toward liberal democracy; they were simply waiting until they were strong enough to push back against the West. Wright contends that the triumphalist liberal narrative omits the fact that for large parts of the non-Western world, ethnic and nationalist traditions have been strengthened and not weakened by the forces of globalization. …

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