The twenty-first century has seen a rise in the global middle class that brings an unprecedented convergence of interests and perceptions, cultures and values. Kishore Mahbubani is optimistic. We are creating a new global civilization. Eighty-eight percent of the world's population outside the West is rising to Western living standards, and sharing Western aspirations. Yet Mahbubani, one of the most perceptive global commentators, also warns that a new global order needs new policies and attitudes.
Policymakers all over the world must change their preconceptions and accept that we live in one world. National interests must be balanced with global interests. Power must be shared. The U.S. and Europe must cede some power. China and India, Africa and the Islamic world must be integrated. Mahbubani urges that only through these actions can we create a world that converges benignly. This timely book explains how to move forward and confront many pressing global challenges.
Jacket Copy for The Great Convergence
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"Charles Dickens famously wrote that it was the best of times and the worst of times. Many in the West today believe these are the worst of times. Yet, in many ways, these are the best of times for the West and the Rest.
Global poverty is disappearing. The global middle class is booming. Inter-state wars have become a sunset industry. Never has so large a percentage of the world's population been as well-educated and well-travelled as it is today. We are becoming more integrated and interconnected. The potential for a peaceful new global civilization is evolving before our eyes almost unnoticed.
Yet challenges remain. Seven major geopolitical fault lines have to be resolved. Institutions of global governance need serious reform. The IMF and the World Bank cannot remain in western pockets. The UN Security Council must reflect contemporary great power configurations. The world order has to be reconstructed. And it can be done.
Kishore Mahbubani's book could not be more timely. He masterfully describes how our world has seen more positive change in the past 30 years than the past 300 years. By prescribing brilliant and pragmatic solutions for improving our global order - including a 7-7-7 formula that can finally break the logjam in the UN Security Council - Mahbubani maps a road away from the geopolitical contours of the nineteenth century that have shackled us, and identifies the defining condition of our era: the great convergence."
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By Lauren Madow, PD Magazine, Summer, 2013
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A Bold Optimist
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Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post-American World
"Kishore Mahbubani has done it again. He has written a book that is provocative, engaging, and always intelligent. He brings a crucial perspective to bear on global affairs, rooted in the rise of Asia but with an understanding of Europe and America as well. Rudyard Kipling said, 'East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.' But they do in this book."
Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General
"In exploring the tensions that arise as our global community draws ever closer together, Kishore Mahbubani provides a compelling reminder that humanity is strongest when we work together for the benefit of all."
Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics at New York University's Stern School of Business and Co-founder and Chairman of Roubini Global Economics
"While I remain pessimistic for the global economy in the near-term, I share Kishore Mahbubani’s long-term optimism for our world, including the emerging powers like China and India. The world order must now reinvent itself to accommodate these powers. Mahbubani’s timely and brilliant book explains well both the challenges to our global order and the wise solutions that are at hand. We can create a better world. Mahbubani’s book explains how. I strongly commend it."
Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor of Harvard University, Harvard Kennedy School
"Most of the great errors in foreign policy and diplomacy come from a failure to understand the perspective of other nations. And this is a besetting problem for superpowers like the United States. That is why whether they like it or not, whether they agree or disagree, it so important that Western and especially American policymakers read this important book presenting a perspective on the global trends that is very different from their own."
Joseph S. Nye, Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard University, and author of The Future of Power
"Kishore Mahbubani is a thoughtful critic of the West and this book is full of provocations; some right, some wrong, but never boring. Above all, he seeks ways to reconcile the 12 per cent of the world’s population who live in the West with the vast majority who do not. The result is a good and important read."
Raghuram Rajan, Professor, University of Chicago Booth School
"Few today know Asia as well as Kishore Mahbubani, and even fewer combine it with a deep understanding of the West’s strengths and frailties. In The Great Convergence, Mahbubani offers a balanced but profoundly disturbing analysis of the political challenges that face our modern, increasingly interdependent, world. His proposals on how to fix the outdated system of global governance are both refreshingly novel and eminently practical. A truly stimulating read!"
Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organization
"Thought provoking, sharp and full of wisdom as usual, this new book by Kishore Mahbubani not only offers in-depth analysis of world challenges today, but also offered fresh ideas on how to improve global order for the 21st century. A must read for those who are interested in power politics and the future of global governance."
Op-eds by Kishore Mahbubani
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Keeping the ship on course
The World Today, Volume 68, Number 11, December 2012
The Global Village
Finance & Development, Volume 49, Number 3, September 2012
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