Shadow Government has a very good interview with the Kori Schake, the author of this new book. Here is what she says about this book in her own words:
It’s a book about American power: why it’s so predominant in the international order, whether it’s likely to remain so, and how current practices can be revised to reduce the cost to the United States of managing the system. Despite clarion calls about the end of the unipolar moment and the demise of American moral, financial, military, and diplomatic power, the United States remains the defining state in the international system and is likely to be so for at least several more decades. If there were a market for state power, now would be a great time to buy futures in American power.
Here’s the first question of the interview:
SG: How does the United States end up so successful in this round of globalization?
Schake: The resilience with which Americans have found new professions as manufacturing migrated to cheaper labor markets contrasts favorably with revanchist efforts by other wealthy states to artificially preserve the eroding economic order rather than encourage and shape change. It helps that the U.S. economy is an engine of job creation, but that is a result of explicit choices about labor market flexibility. The signature advantage of the U.S. economy is the risk tolerance of its work force: the economy sheds and create jobs, and people mostly accept that the nature of economic activity is uncertain.
The adaptability of American workers mirrors the general malleability of the country. In a globalizing order in which many societies are attempting to shield their traditions from external influence, American culture voraciously seeks out and incorporates new elements that further broaden its appeal. Americans are so accepting of change and risk that we have come to exemplify what others fear: globalization is often equated with Americanization.
Here’s a very insightful quote that poses fighting terrorism as a luxury that most other countries don’t have: “Compared with the ravages of HIV/AIDS on the labor force, managing food scarcity caused by environmental change, or establishing basic governance and education, America’s preoccupation with terrorism appears a luxury. It is therefore in our interest to devote more attention to solving the problems we are not afflicted with but that are essential to securing the assistance of states whose help we need.” Make sure to read the whole thing!