The Rise and Fall of Peace on Earth

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In the twenty-five years after 1989, the world enjoyed the deepest peace in history. In The Rise and Fall of Peace on Earth, the eminent foreign policy scholar Michael Mandelbaum examines that remarkable quarter century, describing how and why the peace was established and then fell apart. To be sure, wars took place in this era, but less frequently and on a far smaller scale than in previous periods. Mandelbaum argues that the widespread peace ended because three major countries -- Vladimir Putin's Russia in Europe, Xi Jinping's China in East Asia, and the Shia clerics' Iran in the Middle East -- put an end to it with aggressive nationalist policies aimed at overturning the prevailing political arrangements in their respective regions. The three had a common motive: their need to survive in a democratic age with their countries' prospects for economic growth uncertain.

Mandelbaum further argues that the key to the return of peace lies in the advent of genuine democracy, including free elections and the protection of religious, economic, and political liberty. Yet, since recent history has shown that democracy cannot be imposed from the outside, The Rise and Fall of Peace on Earth has a dual message: while the world has a formula for peace, there is no way to ensure that all countries will embrace it.

3 comments on “The Rise and Fall of Peace on Earth”

  1. A Great Book For All Who Want to Understand The World Today This is an extraordinary book in its wisdom, its clarity of its vision, and the beauty of its writing. It is rare for an expert to be able to communicate his or her analysis in a way that any lay reader can understand, but Michael Mandelbaum is that rare authority on American foreign policy who writes so well that it is a pure pleasure to learn from one of the world's leading experts in foreign affairs. This is the perfect gift for anyone who desires to understand the world in which we find...

  2. Good analysis of how we got to where we are I don't want to be a doomsayer that we've reached the end of the "Democratic Era," but I'm not NOT saying that, either. This book is a fine, academic analysis of the world order that pushed us in this dark direction of tyranny, autocrats and oligarchy.It's very easy to look back at past events and with contemporary knowledge say they were bad choices - this book does veer into "wasn't it obvious?" second-guessing when that's not always fair. However, I do remember in the mid-1990s...

  3. Good Academic Read This is a well-written book. The author argues that immediately following the Cold War, the 25 years of peace which the world experienced is a direct result of the spread of liberal democracy. He believes that American power coupled with the growth of economic interdependence around the world set the stage for this quarter-century of peace, and that it ended because of Russian aggression, Chinese expansion, and Iranian belligerence. Mandelbaum believes that these three areas of nationalist...

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