A World in Disarray

A World in Disarray

American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Penguin Putnam
"A valuable primer on foreign policy: a primer that concerned citizens of all political persuasions—not to mention the president and his advisers—could benefit from reading." —The New York Times

An examination of a world increasingly defined by disorder and a United States unable to shape the world in its image, from the president of the Council on Foreign Relations

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. The rules, policies, and institutions that have guided the world since World War II have largely run their course. Respect for sovereignty alone cannot uphold order in an age defined by global challenges from terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons to climate change and cyberspace. Meanwhile, great power rivalry is returning. Weak states pose problems just as confounding as strong ones. The United States remains the world’s strongest country, but American foreign policy has at times made matters worse, both by what the U.S. has done and by what it has failed to do. The Middle East is in chaos, Asia is threatened by China’s rise and a reckless North Korea, and Europe, for decades the world’s most stable region, is now anything but. As Richard Haass explains, the election of Donald Trump and the unexpected vote for “Brexit” signals that many in modern democracies reject important aspects of globalization, including borders open to trade and immigrants.

In A World in Disarray, Haass argues for an updated global operating system—call it world order 2.0—that reflects the reality that power is widely distributed and that borders count for less. One critical element of this adjustment will be adopting a new approach to sovereignty, one that embraces its obligations and responsibilities as well as its rights and protections. Haass also details how the U.S. should act towards China and Russia, as well as in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He suggests, too, what the country should do to address its dysfunctional politics, mounting debt, and the lack of agreement on the nature of its relationship with the world.

A World in Disarray is a wise examination, one rich in history, of the current world, along with how we got here and what needs doing. Haass shows that the world cannot have stability or prosperity without the United States, but that the United States cannot be a force for global stability and prosperity without its politicians and citizens reaching a new understanding.

Baker & Taylor
Examines the deteriorating ability of global powers to shape the world in their image and facilitate world order, calling for new approaches that address the non-state contributors and other challenges of the twenty-first century.

& Taylor

The president of the Council on Foreign Relations presents a visionary examination of the deteriorating ability of today's global powers to shape the world in their image and facilitate world order, calling for new approaches that address the non-state contributors and other challenges of the 21st century.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, [2017]
ISBN: 9780399562365
Branch Call Number: 327.73 HAASS
Characteristics: xii, 339 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 09, 2017

This book offers an insightful analysis of the current state of international relations, region by region, with a quick review of the historical roots from the past few centuries. Often drawing on his own extensive personal experience in the halls of power, he identifies major issues that are interfering with peaceful and prosperous relations among nations, and he provides advice on steps that could and should be taken (by the US in most cases) to improve things. Of course this is very much from the US perspective, apparently based on the premise that moral, political, economic and military leadership must come almost exclusively from the US. You get the sense that it was written for the incoming President: one can only hope that he reads it! While this book may seem a bit arrogant to a non-American reader, and it does have a definite right-of-centre political bent, it is none the less a very informative read.

Jan 28, 2017

If you haven't read the book, why are you writing anything? Out of common courtesy, please stop.

Jan 26, 2017

I haven't read this book yet, but I have heard the main shill for the CFR, Haass, plenty of times, ad nauseum. Please keep in mind that the CFR was sure the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership, that FTA to end workers' rights, et cetera] would pass - - and just a little while back, VP Joe Biden [the clown who claimed the Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak, wasn't a dictator, but WikiLeaks' Julian Assange was an international terrorist] promised the CFR that he and the prez [now former prez] would get it passed! Good job, Joey!
Haass is attempting to say everything is in disarray because the unwashed masses weren't following the CFR's plans, which are really the global banking cartel's plans. Ho hum . . .
Both the description and the CFR are still pushing this meme: // The United States remains the world's strongest country . . .\\ Except, Russian ECM is far advanced to ours [electronic countermeasures]. Except, thanks to CFR-backed offshoring of jobs, technology and investment to China, Chinese satcom technology is now more advanced than America's; China has antisat weaponry; China has anti-aircraft carrier missiles; China is on par with the USA in aircraft technology, possessing generation five jets, thanks to their hacking into the Pentagon and BAE and stealing all the plans, specs, et cetera, and they have Aegis-level naval systems, for the very same reason!
So how is it we are still // the world's strongest country \\ ???
Methinks old Haas has been in that job far too long . . . .
It appears with the Trumpster there's been a change of plans, in with Gen. Michael Flynn and Peter Navarro [who are actually the ideal progressive choices for those positions] and a logical strategic tilt towards Russia and away from the growing militarism of China [thanks to Corporate Amerika] and the head choppers of Saudi Arabia and the attendant jihadis. It appears there will be no more support for al Qaeda in Syria, or the Taliban, et cetera. Major changes afoot, evidently . . .]


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at GL

To Top