The Real World Order: Zones of Peace / Zones of Turmoil

Singer, Max and Aaron Wildavsky. The Real World Order: Zones of Peace / Zones of Turmoil. London: Chatham House Publishers, 1993.

This old-fashioned book presents a grand line of argument that “the current world order will be different and better than the one with which we are familiar.” The reason? “For the first time in history a small number of great democracies – the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, and Italy – will have most of the world’s power.” These are the most important nations in what the authors label the zones of peace, wealth, and democracy. None faces “substantial military danger to its independence or survival,” because the democracies do not fight one another and because they now have military preponderance over all others. Economic conflicts among them are noisy, but the stakes of the specific disputes are typically small, and economics will not drive these democracies into fundamental conflict. So with the cold war behind us, “the age of heroism in American foreign policy is thankfully over.”

The fortunate nations in the zones of peace stand in contrast to those in the zones of turmoil, war, and development…”

– From a review in Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 109, No. 4, Autumn, 1994.