International relations experts are pretty much down on everything nowadays. America, we are told, is incapable of global leadership: too discredited overseas, too few resources back home, too little will -- period. For a brief moment there, while China held up the global economy during the recent financial crisis, much credence was given to the notion that we were on the verge of a Chinese century. But that popular vision has also waned surprisingly quickly, and now the conventional wisdom centers on China’s great weaknesses, challenges and overall brittleness. Amazingly, where we spoke of a U.S.-China “G-2” arrangement just a few short years ago, now there is a sense that no one is in charge.
Political scientist Ian Bremmer dubs that reality a “G-Zero world,” arguing in his soon-to-be-published book, “Every Nation for Itself,” that such an era begets a “free for all” competition that is worrisome, but hardly Hobbesian. After casually dismissing a worst-case “G-Subzero” world in which states are superseded by a generalized anarchy, Bremmer frets -- briefly -- about a second Cold War between China and America. But he spends most of his time regretting the global order’s turn toward regionalism following the global financial crisis. ...
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