The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World
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.
Available January 08, 2013
The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East
For centuries, Asians (Chinese, Indians, Muslims, and others) have been bystanders in world history. Now they are ready to become co-drivers.
Asians have finally understood, absorbed, and implemented Western best practices in many areas: from free-market economics to modern science and technology, from meritocracy to rule of law. They have also become innovative in their own way, creating new patterns of cooperation not seen in the West.
Will the West resist the rise of Asia? The good news is that Asia wants to replicate, not dominate, the West. For a happy outcome to emerge, the West must gracefully give up its domination of global institutions, from the IMF to the World Bank, from the G7 to the UN Security Council.
History teaches that tensions and conflicts are more likely when new powers emerge. This, too, may happen. But they can be avoided if the world accepts the key principles for a new global partnership spelled out in The New Asian Hemisphere.
(Source: Book Flap)
Beyond the Age of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust Between America and the World
Mahbubani's provocative previous work, Can Asians Think? (2002) pressed Westerners to reexamine their ignorance of the East and earned its diplomat-scholar author comparisons to Arnold Toynbee and even Max Weber. His latest book expounds an essentially similar thesis, packaged to draw American readers to Asia by way of post-9/11 concern about the image of the U.S. abroad. The U.S. has done more good for the world than any other civilization, Mahbubani exuberates, his credibility bolstered by years spent in New York as Singapore's ambassador to the UN. But the U.S. has harmed the world, he continues, by opportunistically shirking the expectations the rest of the world hopes it will live up to, as evidenced by Afghanistan's jilted mujahadin, but especially by fickle fiscal policies toward Thailand and Indonesia during the recent Asian financial crisis.
Mahbubani's obligatory discussion of the U.S and Islam is eclipsed by his astute analysis of Chinese-American relations; less alarmist than most tellers of tales of sleeping dragons, he nevertheless credits the Chinese for patiently and profitably strategizing their way through decades of American mixed messages. Pragmatic tough love for the new century.
Can Asians Think? Understanding the Divide Between East and West
Asia's societies were more culturally and economically advanced than Europe's at the end of the first millennium. And yet by the nineteenth century the West had leaped so far ahead that even some Asians themselves harbored images of inferiority.
Mahbubani's analysis of the past and predictions for the future amount to a wake-up call to Asians and Westerners alike. In diverse pieces such as "The Ten Commandments for Developing Countries" and "The Dangers of Decadence: What the Rest Can Teach the West," he asserts that Westerners are largely unaware of their condescending attitudes and practices toward the East and maintain that outdated worldview at their own peril - Asia's economies are poised to surpass those of Europe and North America within the next fifty years. No one who reads these iconoclastic, unabashed arguments will ever regard East-West relations in the same light.
(Source: Book Jacket)