GLOBAL DISORDER: America and the Threat of World Conflict

Robert Harvey, Author . Carroll & Graf $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7867-1132-1

Harvey, formerly a member of Parliament and a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, updates his comprehensive survey of established and emerging threats to world security. Harvey's synthesis covers the entire globe, featuring compressed set pieces on such diverse locales as Saudi Arabia and Colombia, Japan and South Africa, with politics and economics his principal subjects. Harvey sees the world as "a much more dangerous place than it has been for nearly half a century," the sources of instability today ranging from terrorism and nuclear proliferation to the irrationality of disintegrated and even "psychopath" states. The world economy has been shaken by currency manipulations, by a vast Third World debt crisis (covered here in detail) and by the depredations of multinational corporations. The author presents himself as a sympathetic observer of the role played by the United States in world affairs. Calling for greater American engagement in the world, the author envisions a four-part foundation for international security in which the U.S. must take the lead, becoming the "benevolent head of the family of nations" in association with a strengthened Japan and European Union. Many suggestions appear throughout the book for creating what the author calls a New Security Architecture for the world. Harvey is obviously a knowledgeable observer of the global scene, and sets out his views with clarity and passion. However, his portrayal of political and economic trends focuses mostly on the 1980s and early 1990s, and analysis of more recent developments would have been welcome. Still, this volume will hold the interest of devotees of contemporary history and those concerned with international affairs. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/03/2003
Release date: 03/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
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