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Every Nation For Itself

Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World

By Ian Bremmer
10-minute read
Audio available
Every Nation For Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World by Ian Bremmer

Every Nation For Itself (2012) discusses the consequences of the lack of international leadership we face today. With no nation economically fit enough, or even willing, to head the response to global challenges, we live in what could be called a G-Zero world; these blinks reveal how we got here, and what comes next.

  • Anyone with an interest in world politics and ongoing global crises
  • People curious about the economic and political forces that shape important political decisions
  • Anyone interested in understanding how global problems are interrelated

Ian Bremmer is a political risk consultant and the president of the Eurasia Group, the world’s top global political risk consulting and research company. His other publications include The End of the Free Market and The J Curve.

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Every Nation For Itself

Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World

By Ian Bremmer
  • Read in 10 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 6 key ideas
Every Nation For Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World by Ian Bremmer
Synopsis

Every Nation For Itself (2012) discusses the consequences of the lack of international leadership we face today. With no nation economically fit enough, or even willing, to head the response to global challenges, we live in what could be called a G-Zero world; these blinks reveal how we got here, and what comes next.

Key idea 1 of 6

Tough domestic problems make nations reluctant to take on global leadership responsibilities.

Imagine this: your debt is piling up, your job might be getting axed, and you’ve still got to get your broken car fixed. Is this the time in your life that you’d sign up to lead a community group? Not likely!

Many countries around the world find themselves in similar situations today, facing domestic problems on an extraordinary scale. Even leaders of developed nations such as Japan and the United States are struggling to cope with enormous debt and an aging population.

The United States borrows almost $4 billion a day to manage its national deficit and will continue to do so to get the situation under control. Pension and health insurance for the elderly and poor currently account for 40 percent of the country’s entire budget.

On the other hand, emerging powers such as Brazil, China, Russia and India have shown competence in managing domestic issues with focused strategies. China, for example, has focused on developing its middle class and a social security system for its 1.34 billion citizens. However, despite being seen as an economic superpower, China’s per capita income is equal to just a third of Portugal’s.

On the whole, the demands of internal challenges have made countries reluctant to assume leadership roles internationally; and yet, all countries are faced with very pressing global issues. The 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit illustrated the problems with this widespread apprehension.

Established powers, such as the United States and France, pressured emerging powers, such as China and India, to commit to achieving binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Emerging powers made the counter-argument that the Western world has polluted the earth for 150 years; established powers pointed out that the bulk of future pollution will be caused by emerging powers. The result? Neither old nor new powers were prepared to take the lead.

Today, there is no single country or bloc of countries with enough political and economic power to create the change our world needs to tackle impending international problems. Find out the serious consequences of this trend in the following blinks.

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