A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order. Haass, Richard, New York: Penguin Press: 2017, 345.


The current global scenario is going through a transitional period, which is rife with uncertainty, anxiety and instability. The influence of non-state actors and international and regional organisations has increased in the formation of a new international order, making them important players in the international arena. Set in this context, Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Senior Middle East Adviser to President George H W Bush, in his new book, A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order takes a look at the modern world and America’s foreign policy over the last century. Haass offers a strategically coherent approach of dealing with the modern day challenges to the world. After a careful analysis of four hundred years of the world history and modern world challenges, Haass concludes that the global trend is “one of declining order.”

The book has been divided into three parts: the first part contemplates the history of world order from the rise of the modern state system to end of the Cold War. Moving on to the second part, Haass explains the shifts in the world order that occurred in the last quarter of the century and the new threats, the international community is facing today. The last part outlines specific steps to tackle challenges ahead along with highlighting the issues within America that need to be addressed for an effective foreign policy.

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