The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty-first Century

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Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003 - History - 180 pages
5 Reviews
Based on an essay that has been hailed as one of the most influential policy pieces published in the past decade, Robert Cooper sets out a radical new interpretation of the shape of the world in his pathbreaking book, "The Breaking of Nations. Cooper argues that there are three types of states in the world that deal with each other in different ways: "pre-modern" parts of the world, without fully functioning states, "modern" nation states, concerned with territorial sovereignty and national interests, and "post-modern" states in which foreign and domestic policy are inextricably intertwined, tools of governance are shared, and security is no longer based on control over territory or the balance of power. Among First World nations, societies may operate on the basis of laws, openness, and cooperative security. But when dealing with a hostile outside enemy, civilized countries need to revert to tougher methods from an earlier era--force, preemptive attack, deception--if we are to safeguard peaceful coexistence throughout the civilized world. Like Robert Kagan's best-selling "Of Paradise and Power, The Breaking of Nations is essential reading for a dangerous age, a cautionary tale for superpowers, and a prescient examination of international relations in the twenty-first century.

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Review: The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty-First Century

User Review  - Alexandra Sundarsingh - Goodreads

A clear, lucid and unflinching summary of what it will take for Europe to try to be a power-player in 21st century global politics while still maintaining balance. Helpful to the modern student of IR in moving past the Cold War framework of conflict, and into the modern era. Read full review

Review: The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty-First Century

User Review  - Daniel Simmons - Goodreads

Slim but insightful -- the first of his three essays is the best. No doubt some readers will quibble about how we are supposed to define "pre-modern states" vs. "modern nation-states" vs. "postmodern ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Robert Cooper is currently Director-General of External and Politico-Military Affairs for the Council of the European Union.

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