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The New Rules: America Need Not Fear Connectivity Revolutions

Monday, Feb. 28, 2011

A lot of international relations theories are being stress-tested by events in the Arab world right now, with some emerging better than others. Two in particular that are worth mentioning are Ian Bremmer's 2006 book, "The J Curve," which predicts a dangerous dip into instability when closed, authoritarian states attempt to open up to the world; and Evgeny Morozov's new book, "The Net Delusion," which critiques the notion that Internet connectivity is inherently democratizing. (In the interests of transparency, I work as a consultant for Bremmer's political risk consultancy, Eurasia Group, and penned a pre-publication blurb for Morozov's book.)

Both of these compelling theses carry a strong, "be careful what you wish for" warning that dovetails nicely with my own writings on globalization -- namely, when connectivity comes to town, things often get worse before they get better. That's why, for example, I titled my own first book, "The Pentagon's New Map" and not, say, "Wall Street's New Map."   ...

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