A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order Summary & Study Guide

Haass, Richard
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A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order Summary & Study Guide Description

A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order by Haass, Richard .

The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: Haass. Richard. A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of World Order. Penguin Press, 2017.

A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of World Order by Richard Haass is describes the foreign policy challenges facing the United States and proposes a series of solutions. Broadly, Haass argues that the United States must play an active role in the international community with the goal of creating a stable, peaceful world order. The author defines world order as a shared definition of legitimate foreign policy behavior, supported by an appropriate balance of power among states. Despite optimism at the end of the Cold War, Haass argues that the world has become a more unstable environment. Although there is no great power conflict, a number of smaller, regional conflicts have led to violence and political upheaval. Further, the world is faced with the challenges of failed states, economic panic, and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Major world powers have significant disagreements on how to respond to these challenges and international organizations like the UN are not able to address them adequately. Conditions, Haass claims, are likely to deteriorate further if the United States pursues an isolationist foreign policy.

In the second half of the text, Haass advocates a series of policy solutions. The foundation of these proposals is a respect for traditional sovereignty, which holds that states should not interfere in the the internal affairs of other states. Further, he presents the idea of sovereign obligation, a series of responsibilities that states would have to one another. Broadly, sovereign obligation requires states to contain economic and physical instability within their borders and contribute to solving transnational problems. He also lays out a series of specific proposals tied to individual states and regions. Generally, he advocates a pragmatic, realist approach to foreign policy, finding areas of cooperation whenever possible. Finally, Haass argues that the United States must institute domestic reforms to strengthen its political and economic system in order for its foreign policy to be effective.

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