Marcio Silva's Reviews > Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World

Every Nation for Itself by Ian Bremmer
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's review
May 15, 2012

it was ok
Read from May 15 to 26, 2012

Bremmer's book has one or two good anectodes, but seems more concerned about making the "G-Zero" label stick by repeating it two times per sentence than by providing evidence of its validity. When it tries to prove that the "G-Zero" is a reality, it falls in the common trap of other superficial books that have been published lately - ie, it compares today's "anarchic" world with an idealized version of the past in which the US hel all the cards and was able to accomplish anything it wanted. The latter was clearly not the case, as anyone with even limited knowledge of 20th century history knows.

Besides being superficial, the book presents almost no data to prove its points. Most of the references come from newspaper and magazine articles (Google seems to have helped a lot here), and mentions to respected economists' and/or foreign policy scholars research is rare. At some point, Bremmer even uses data from the "Jamaican Observer" to discuss Brazil's GDP data.

In the end, I thought the book's jargon somewhat useful to structure unpretentious foreign policy discussions with friends (eg, the array of concepts that Bremmer tries to deliver - the "G-Zero" notion, the idea of "pivotal" and "shadow" states etc). But I could've gotten all that from a short newspaper ot magazine article (from the "Jamaican Observer", maybe?). 195 pages are way too much for that.
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