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America and a Changed World: A Question of Leadership

Robin Niblett (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-9155-8
296 pages
October 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
America and a Changed World: A Question of Leadership (1444391550) cover image


Looking at a range of themes and regions, this book provides a challenging basis for rethinking America’s international leadership.
  • Chatham House experts assess current US policy and the country’s ability to continue to play an international leading role.
  • A timely exploration as President Barack Obama attempts to renew America’s global leadership.
  • Broad range of contributors including Annette Bohr (Central Asia), Victor Bulmer-Thomas (Latin America), Alex Vines and Tom Cargill (Sub-Saharan Africa), Paul Cornish (Arms control), Paola Subacchi (Economics), Kerry Brown (China) and James Sherr (Russia).
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Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgments vii

Notes on contributors ix

Introduction 1
Robin Niblett

Part I Deepening Regionalism and the US Response

1 Latin America: forging partnerships in a transformed region 15
Victor Bulmer-Thomas

2 The Middle East: changing from external arbiter to regional player 30
Claire Spencer

3 Sub-Saharan Africa: providing strategic vision or fire-fighting? 49
Alex Vines and Tom Cargill

4 East Asia: searching for consistency 71
John Swenson-Wright

5 South Asia: navigating minefields 89
Gareth Price

6 Central Asia: responding to the multi-vectoring game 109
Annette Bohr

7 The South Caucasus: drama on three stages 125
James Nixey

Part II Partners and Competitors

8 China: between global responsibilities and internal transitions 145
Kerry Brown

9 Russia: managing contradictions 162
James Sherr

10 Europe: transatlantic relations still drifting 185
Robin Niblett

Part III Global Challenges

11 International law and the United Nations: a new era of US engagement 205
Devika Hovell

12 Arms control tomorrow: the challenge of nuclear weapons in the twenty-first century 223
Paul Cornish

13 The United States and climate change: from process to action 238
Bernice Lee and Michael Grubb with Felix Preston and Benjamin Zala

14 The role of the US in the post-crisis economic order 258
Paola Subacchi

Index 275

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Author Information

Robin Niblett is the Director of Chatham House. He was previously Executive Vice President at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington from 2001 to 2006.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • At a time of economic crisis and involvement in two wars, President Barack Obama takes office calling for a renewal of America’s global leadership
  • Senior resident and affiliated scholars offer perspectives on the future capacity of the US to influence events beyond its borders
  • Chatham House experts assess current US policy and consider the most promising areas for future US influence
  • Offers recommendations on how US engagement could have the most beneficial impact on a broad range of countries, regions, and policy areas from climate change and energy security to the reform of international institutions
  • Broad range of contributors including Annette Bohr (Central Asia), Victor Bulmer-Thomas (Latin America), Alex Vines and Tom Cargill (Sub-Saharan Africa), Paul Cornish (Arms control), Paola Subacchi (Economics), Kerry Brown (China) and James Sherr (Russia)

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"Niblett manages to assemble a book that is surprisingly cohesive despite its vast scope . . . the immediacy, though, gives the book a journalistic quality." (The International Spectator, 2010)



America and a Changed World speaks compellingly to the necessity of an intelligent American foreign policy more attuned to the realities of the twenty-first century.’ –
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Professor of American foreign policy, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University and former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter

‘At a time of great uncertainty about the future of US global leadership, America and a Changed World offers a series of timely and important insights into the scale of the challenge facing the Obama administration. As such, the book will serve as a very valuable reference point for students of US foreign policy and policy practitioners alike.’ –
Joschka Fischer, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany

‘This wide-ranging collection of probing essays from Chatham House explores the daunting obstacles to the reassertion of American leadership in a changed world. The provisional answers it suggests are as sobering as they are persuasive.’ –
Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies, University of Oxford, and Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford

‘American leadership of the global order is unavoidable. No other power can step into its shoes, yet. Yet while the world cries out for American leadership, it also cries out for smarter and more sophisticated leadership of a more complex world. This book could not be more timely. It provides wise counsel where it is needed most.’ –
Kishore Mahbubani, Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore 

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