Book Reaction Paper
In his book No One’s World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn, Charles Kupchan (2012) offers his analysis of contemporary world order in the context of weakening economic an military dominance of the United States and Western Europe and growing influence of emerging powers such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC). The analysis of implications of Kupchan’s (2012) forecasts of multipolar world indicates that the rise of the BRIC states and the relative decline of the US will affect me as an individual by contributing to the creation of the world order where different parts of the world will live by their own standards and views regarding what is just and legitimate and making the world a dangerous and turbulent place where superpowers will use military force to divide spheres of influence.
Kupchan (2012) believes that today’s world is subjected to new developmental dynamics and that the era of dominance of a single superpower is over, opening a way to more equal distribution of global power. Therefore, the author feels that Western and emerging powers will continue to develop simultaneously and interdependently by agreeing to new interaction patterns regarding decision making in local and global political and economic affairs (Kupchan, 2012). I think that the effects of a multipolar world are going to be felt the least by people who constantly reside in their home country. However, those that work in global companies, travel frequently, or migrate might have to accept that what was acceptable in their former country is not acceptable anymore in a new location. Although there are significant differences even now in mentalities of different nations, potential differences in the new global society will go beyond cultural or mentality-related issues. Kupchan (2012) believes that governments of Western and emerging countries will apply different approaches to diplomacy, peace, war, and commerce. Therefore, despite living in an increasingly globalized world, gaps between worldviews and outlooks on global issues, such as climate change, threat of nuclear weapons, terrorism, international crime, poverty, epidemic of AIDS, and malnutrition. may differ significantly. Thus, I feel that my life is going to be affected since I will live in a fragmented world that lacks solidarity and a united outlook on global problems. I believe that this lack of coherence will force every country to seek its own good versus common good. Consequently, many problems that may be solved only via united efforts of many nations will worsen and remain unresolved. Therefore, climate change, local military conflicts, and spread of infectious diseases might become more of a threat than they currently are.
In addition, we might live in the world where more powerful countries resort to using their military strength to solve conflicts, conquer spheres of influence, and secure access to energy resources. Kupchan (2012) feels that world players may choose either peaceful way of resolving issues that arise or turn to using their military arsenals. Therefore, the outcome of this choice will be a state of a world we live in and whether it will be a peaceful place or a turbulent one where wars are viewed as a way of solving international disputes or territorial claims. Apparently, emerging countries will act in a bolder manner, knowing that there is no Western power watching over them. One example of negative effects of a multipolar world is a military conflict in Ukraine where Russia (BRIC member) invaded part of Ukraine despite protests of the US and the European Union whose power is weakening.
Therefore, reflecting on a Kuchan’s (2012) book helped me make two conclusions. First, different parts of a multipolar world will have diverse values, and their ability to solve global problems will weaken. Therefore, the future of current and following generations is uncertain. Second, people might live in a world where international military conflicts become more frequent, making the world a more dangerous place for everyone.