2010

The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas

Steven Weber and Bruce W. Jentleson. The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas. Harvard University Press. (2010)

Abstract

Free-market capitalism, hegemony, Western culture, peace, and democracy—the ideas that shaped world politics in the twentieth century and underpinned  American foreign policy—have lost a good deal of their strength. Authority is now more contested and power more diffuse. Hegemony (benign or otherwise) is no longer a choice, not for the United States, for China, or for anyone else.

Steven Weber and Bruce Jentleson are not declinists, but they argue that the United States must take a different stance toward the rest of the world in this, the twenty-first century. Now that we can’t dominate others, we must rely on strategy, making trade-offs and focusing our efforts. And they do not mean military strategy, such as “the global war on terror.” Rather, we must compete in the global marketplace of ideas—with state-directed capitalism, with charismatic authoritarian leaders, with jihadism. In politics, ideas and influence are now critical currency.

At the core of our efforts must be a new conception of the world order based on mutuality, and of a just society that inspires and embraces people around the world.

Author(s)

Images

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Pull Quote

“Weber and Jentleson put forward a powerful and provocative view of the coming frontiers for foreign policy — a global competition of ideas. Their arguments pose the right challenge to governments, corporations, and NGOs operating on a global stage, and provide practical advice for what to do about it.”
—Janice Stein, Director, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
The End of Arrogance makes a strong case for the end of the hegemony of American ideas in the foreign-policy sphere, examines what a more complex and diverse set of influences could create in terms of a future world order, and offers some important advice on how America can keep up in a more competitive world.”
—Elizabeth Dickinson, Foreign Policy blog

Last updated:

September 20, 2016