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No One's World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn
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No One's World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  95 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
The world is on the cusp of a global turn. Between 1500 and 1800, the West sprinted ahead of other centers of power in Asia and the Middle East. Europe and the United States have dominated the world since. But today the West's preeminence is slipping away as China, India, Brazil and other emerging powers rise. Although most strategists recognize that the dominance of the W ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 21st 2012)
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Apr 12, 2012 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A great overview of how the West and the Rest got to where they are today and how to manage the future. The first half of the book wherein Kupchan walks the reader through the roots of Western primacy and the circumstances that held back the rest is the book's strongest point. As he advances into analysis of the current American predicament of dysfunctional politics an international overreach, however, he falls back on some of the cliches that plague contemporary commentary. "Serious thinkers" a ...more
William Handel
Jul 16, 2014 William Handel rated it it was ok
Having come in with fairly high expectations, I was disappointed by No One’s World. The book read as a loosely stitched together collection of tired op-eds (“Restoring Western Solvency,” “Managing No One’s World”) and cosmetic descriptions of the world as it exists today (African leaders are “The Strongmen,” while Latin America is governed by “The Populists”). At times, the work seemed more concerned with finding neat categories for the world’s governance structure (an ironic diversion, I might ...more
Samuel Lubell
May 04, 2013 Samuel Lubell rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, book-club
I found much of the book unconvincing. The historical sections were superficial and tended to assume that what happened in history was inevitable and depended on characteristics that he does not really explain. For instance, he claims that Europe developed scientifically while the Islamic world didn't because Islam is a law-based religion while Christianity is based on faith. But plenty of Christian sects have plenty of rules (and Catholicism for many years had rules scientists had to obey, just ...more
Jun 24, 2014 Gaute rated it liked it
Important but somewhat superficial

Kupchan's No One's World argues that the increasing prosperity of non-western countries will not lead to "China taking over the world", nor will it (in the near- or medium-term) lead to a convergence towards liberal democracy. Instead we are more likely to see a political and ideological diversity not seen since Europe embarked on its colonial project. There will be several competing versions of modernity, none of which will be able to completely dominate the ot
Feb 16, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
This book presents a strong argument that, not only is US hegemony unlikely to continue in the coming decades, but that we are not well-served by policies based on the belief that liberal democracy is the only legitimate form of government. After somewhat tediously opening with a review of the rise of liberal democracy in Europe and the US (needed to support his thesis that liberal democracy is not inevitable), Kupchan describes why he believes that the "communal, paternal, and tribal autocracie ...more
Sep 03, 2012 Ari rated it liked it
Kupchan does a nice job laying out the historical context for the West's rise, arguing that its dominance was propelled by a set of social and political conditions rather than any ideological superiority, that it cannot expect the rest of the world to buy into liberal democracy on the strength of ideology alone, and that it must brace itself for a world order in which there are multiple versions of modernity. His main argument is that the next world order will have no center of gravity, and the ...more
Jeffrey Hart
Jan 30, 2014 Jeffrey Hart rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Kupchan has written a book for popular audiences on the current challenges to U.S. foreign policy stemming from the growing influence of governments outside the traditional circle of Western great powers. It is an intellectually ambitious book in that the first three chapters attempt to synthesize a variety of ideas about the differences between the democratic industrialized nations of the West and the nations that arose in the wake of the breakup of the Ottoman empire. He enunciates an interest ...more
Harry Steinmetz
May 01, 2012 Harry Steinmetz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This ultimately struck me an a "No Sh*t" book. It is a terrific history of how the west became dominant in forgien policy and offers some insights into what to expect from this point forward. But the books conclusion that we are headed to a multi polar world just seems obvious to me. The author also doesn't adaquately take on the American Firsters other than to say that we cannot maintain our dominance that we currently enjoy. While I agree, there are many that think we should do all we can to m ...more
Apr 18, 2016 Tripp rated it really liked it
The book presents a fascinating view of how the new international order will be shaped. We are used to the idea of one or two nations being the most significant and the most impactful. Kupchan argues that the new order will be driven by many powers having to collaborate and cooperate.
Simon Mould
Feb 17, 2014 Simon Mould rated it really liked it
A useful read explaining the shift of power from a more postmodern perspective. Kupchan is considered one of today's IR experts and is worth reading in order to understand accepted paradigms among the experts.
Feb 17, 2014 Ed rated it liked it
Good for context on this subject but not that startling in its insights. I don't honestly remember many of them: not a good sign.
The American Conservative
'The good news is that Kupchan’s book is just the right size—around 200 pages—with not too many endnotes and a short but valuable bibliography. Kupchan is readable without being too glib. He is clearly an “insider” (he is a former National Security Council staffer) but exhibits a healthy level of detachment. And Kupchan displays a commendable willingness to adjust his grand vision to changing realities.'

Read the full review, "We Are Not All Americans Now," on our website:
Mar 31, 2013 Rúben rated it really liked it
Very good book that helped me expand my thinking on global governance issues. Very reasonable proposals are presented by Kupchan. Recommended for those less tolerant of others...
Frits Brouwer
Sep 27, 2013 Frits Brouwer rated it it was amazing
Bloody excellent book.
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