Chasing the Norm

Australian academic and blogger on politics, international relations, and culture

The End of Power

The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be
by Moisés Naím

I broke a big rule of mine for this book. Having bought and skimmed on Kindle, I ended up buying a hardcopy of it. The reason? A chance to get the author to sign it (author signature of books on iPad are rather…ineffective shall we say).

I had the pleasure earlier this week of going to the Carnegie Institute and meeting Moises Naim, and have come away re-enforced in my view of the importance of this book. The book goes beyond the mere ‘diffusion of power’ thesis which is involved in the now dime-a-dozen ‘rise of the rest, fall of the west’ literature. It recognises that what we considered and default to assuming constitutes and IS power, may not always or necessarily be so.

I’m still not sure (despite asking the author about this) what the timeline for this change is. I suspect we’ve always over-estimated how much influence and power politicians and military leaders actually have. In modern times, as the individual rises in importance and capacity this has become even more vibrant a reality.

If good scholarship involves questioning our basic assumptions, then the idea that bigger = stronger is one that needs questioning. Both for business, politics and even a general understanding of the world today, this book is a very important tome.

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