Locate nations on the J Curve -- left for authoritarian, right for democratic. Then figure out how to force those on the left to open their societies, rather than encouraging them to shut them tighter by further isolating them. The West's isolation of Kim Jong-il's North Korea gives him the cover he needs to extend his brutal regime (the mistake the U.S. made for a long time with Saddam Hussein and Castro); in Saudi Arabia, western governments should encourage manageable change before the country breaks apart; they should help strengthen China's economy so it can further liberalize; they must encourage Israel to decide what kind of country it will be.
Filled with imaginative and surprising examples of how to correct outworn political ideas, The J Curve points the way for western governments to lead the way to a realistic political balance and a healthier economic future.
Ian Bremmer is president of Eurasia Group, the world's largest political risk consultancy. He has written for the Financial Times, the Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, and has authored or edited five books. He is a columnist for Slate, a contributing editor at The National Interest, and a political commentator on CNN, Fox News, and CNBC. He lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.
Ian Bremmer is president of the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy. His publications include New States, New Politics: Building The Post Soviet Nations (CUP) and he is a columnist for the Financial Times. He has also written over 100 articles and essays in the New Statesman, The Harvard Business Review, World Policy Journal, the New Republic, Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, and the New York Times.
"The J Curve provides both policymakers and business strategists with an innovative set of conceptual tools for understanding political risk in rapidly changing societies, tools that integrate political, economic, and security perspectives in new and creative ways."
-- Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History and the Last Man
"Ian Bremmer has come up with a smart, fresh way to think about how countries develop. His J curve gets at the heart of a dynamic of change affecting large swathes of the world. A book well worth reading."
-- Fareed Zakaria, author of The Future of Freedom
"Bremmer convincingly argues that smart American diplomacy, harnessing the forces of globalization, can induce closed societies to open up without falling apart. Timely, thoughtful, and written with verve and clarity, this is an impressive work of analysis and prescription."
-- Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution, former deputy secretary of state
"For those who are looking for new ideas, concepts, and theories to develop a 21st-century understanding of our 21st-century global experience, Ian Bremmer's The J Curve is quintessential reading."
-- Daniel Burstein, coauthor of Big Dragon and Road Warriors
"The J Curve is a fresh and useful way to examine the durability and stability of political systems that is essential to the formation of foreign policy. Bremmer's book is a stimulating effort to get away from the stale and anachronistic notions of international relations that too often, and disastrously, shape foreign policy."
-- Brian Urquhart, former under-secretary-general of the United Nations
"This book is a must-read, and not only for its insight into foreign policy. Individual institutions can be assessed on the J curve as well, and their evolution similarly evaluated. A stunning analysis, notable for its depth, scope, and clarity."
-- Vinton G. Cerf, chief Internet evangelist, Google
"Ian Bremmer's groundbreaking book brings us an entirely new way to look at the world scene -- to understand today's worldwide political and economic problems and how to deal with them."
-- Thomas Pickering, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
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