January 22, 2015—As business-leaders, government officials, and prominent members of civil society and academia gather at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Foreign Affairs and the WEF have partnered on a special ebook, The New Global Context, which will be available to all WEF attendees in both electronic and print formats. A version will also be available to Foreign Affairs readers as part of the magazine’s iPad Extra series.
“According to an increasingly common narrative, the liberal international order that emerged at the end of World War II and spread after the end of the Cold War is now in decline. The United States is in retreat; China, Russia, Iran, and other challengers are on the march. War has returned to Europe, the Middle East is in turmoil, and Asia is a tinderbox waiting to explode,” writes Editor Gideon Rose in his introductory essay, “The Year of Living Dangerously.”
“Foreign Affairs has been carefully tracking the emergence and debating the significance of this ‘new global context,’ as the World Economic Forum puts it, in real time. As a result, we decided that it would be useful to put together this special collection as background reading for the Forum’s 2015 Annual Meeting,” Rose adds.
The ebook showcases an essay by Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab, in which he explores corporate social responsibility and the five pillars that govern a company’s engagement with its stakeholders: corporate governance, corporate philanthropy, corporate social entrepreneurship, global corporate citizenship, and professional accountability.
“Global business must not only preserve but also strengthen this role, as its future success, like all stakeholders’ success, depends on it. In an increasingly sophisticated and globalized world, one facing renewed strains given the new geopolitical context that the past year has borne witness to, the cost of not doing so is simply too great to bear,” Schwab argues.
The ebook, which is divided into five parts, draws from both the magazine and ForeignAffairs.com. It opens with a section called “The State of Global Order,” which features
- Walter Russell Mead, professor at Bard College and Yale University, on “The Return of Geopolitics: The Revenge of the Revisionist Powers;”
- Princeton professor G. John Ikenberry on “The Illusion of Geopolitics: The Enduring Power of the Liberal Order;” and
- CFR President Richard N. Haass on “The Unraveling: How to Respond to a Disorderd World.”
“Russia and the Ukraine Crisis” follows, with articles on
- “What the Kremlin is Thinking,” by Alexander Lukin, vice president of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and director of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations;
- “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault,” by Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago John J. Mearsheimer; and
- “Faulty Powers: Who Started the Ukraine Crisis?” coauthored by former U.S. Ambassador to Russia and Stanford University professor Michael McFaul, CFR Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies and Columbia University professor Stephen Sestanovich, and John J. Mearsheimer.
“Asia in Flux” presents
- CFR Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies Elizabeth C. Economy on “China’s Imperial President: Xi Jinping Tightens His Grip;”
- Princeton University’s Gilbert Rozman on “Asia for the Asians: Why Chinese-Russian Friendship is Here to Stay;” and
- EastWest Institute Fellow J. Berkshire Miller on “A Meeting of the Minds: Did China and Japan Just Press Reset?”
The next section, “A New Middle East?” catalogs the tumult that has swept the region. Highlights include
- “Staying Out of Syria: Why the United States Shouldn’t Enter the Civil War—But Why It Might Anyway” by Steven Simon, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute;
- “This is What Détente Looks Like: The United States and Iran Join Forces Against ISIS” by University of South Florida professor Mohsen Milani; and
- “They’re Coming: Measuring the Threat from Returning Jihadists” by Brandeis University’s Jytte Klausen.
The final section, “Critical Global Challenges,” includes articles on issues from development and trade to natural resources and the future of the Internet, such as
- “Welcome to the Revolution: Why Shale is the Next Shale” by Edward L. Morse, global head of commodities research at Citigroup
- “The Strategic Logic of Trade: New Rules of the Road for the Global Market” by U.S Trade Representative Michael Froman; and
- “All Things Online: How the Internet of Things Changes Everything” by James Manyika and Michael Chui of the McKinsey Global Institute in San Francisco.
“2014 witnessed more breaks from its predecessor than anybody expected, and 2015 could easily follow suit. Yet what’s past is prologue, as [Shakespeare] said, and so a collection such as this should cast light forward as well as backward, illuminating the obstacles and opportunities that lie ahead as well as those behind. If nothing else, it offers a sobering reminder that the old adage is spot on: prediction is hard, especially about the future,” concludes Rose.
The Davos ereader, compiled by Foreign Affairs, is currently available to purchase as a PDF replica and within the iPad app. The ebook will soon be available on Kindle and other ereader platforms, as well as print-on-demand through Amazon.com. For more visit www.foreignaffairs.com/davosreader.
Andrew Palladino, Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs, published by the Council on Foreign Relations since 1922, is an independent magazine of analysis and commentary on foreign policy and international affairs. In recent biannual surveys, Foreign Affairs has been ranked among the top ten most influential media outlets by the independent research firm Erdos & Morgan.