Reviewed By Sulaskshana Gupta
Globalisation has its winners and losers. Then there are some that are still sitting on the fence. Author Parag Khanna in The Second World-Empires and Influence in the New Global Order, boldly goes where few scholars have gone before, into the second world and the countries that are still in the process of becoming. This is one book that keeps the US at arm’s length; instead it draws our attention to its two most formidable competitors—the European Union and China. While the US wages its war on terror, these two players are using diplomacy and economics to align much of the Asian and European continent into two camps. They are to be the new super powers that will write over the cliché of Americanization.
Khanna, a political scientist by profession narrates with the insight of a journalist who’s been to the places he’s talking about. When he quotes from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Uzbekistan or Bosnia, it opens up worlds that are often visible to us only in headlines. The best part is he has anecdotes to back it all up.
This is a book of perspectives on some of the most thought provoking questions of our times: Why is China holding on to Tibet? Why does the EU need Turkey? And what happens to Iraq once the troops leave? Every chapter is the gateway to a new country and an opportunity to understand its place in history. The Second World is the Lonely Planet of contemporary globalisation and geopolitics for anyone interested in the shape of things to come. Don’t let its academic leanings put you off. Once you get past the definitions, this book will change your world.
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