Thomas Barnett Brief

Barnett wrote the Pentagon’s New Map, and its follow up Blueprint For Action. There is a third text on its way, but not for a while.

In the first volume he basically argues for a new vision of the world based on his understanding of the geopolitical dynamic at play. He divides the world into two areas; the Gap which is made up of what he terms “disconnected” states or failed states (Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, N. Korea, etc) and the Core which is made up of interconnected states (US, Europe, etc). He describes a global network, not just made of economies, the various contents that flow through the network and explains how states without connectivity to this network are “behind” and how globalizing them will solve their problems. Then he goes on to explain what shifts are necessary in what he terms “rule sets” (our perspective on the world) in order to achieve this goal.

The second volume, BFA, basically consists of a “how-to” on achieving his vision. I have to make it clear that I have not finished this volume, but will post any feedback I have at a later time.

I have been following his blog for several months (and months before I got around to buying a copy of his book) and have to say he’s a great writer with a great vision. I also have to say… I hope he’s right.

The next two theorists have a far bleaker vision of the future.

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  • nykrindc
    Jan 26, 2006

    “rule sets” (our perspective on the world)

    Rule sets are not our perspective on the world, the idea is far more expansive than that. Rule sets are those rules we (as in the world, or at least those countries in the Core) share which make us successful, such as interconnectedness, open markets, democratic institutions (or movement in that direction), rule of law, etc. That is, it is more than just a perspective, it is the values, institutions and rules we share.

  • Freddie Galleher
    Jan 17, 2011

    I’d be inclined to give the go-ahead with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I really like reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

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