In This Review

The Pivotal States: A New Framework for U.S. Policy in the Developing World
The Pivotal States: A New Framework for U.S. Policy in the Developing World
Edited by Robert Chase, Emily Hill, and Paul Kennedy
W. W. Norton, 1998, 445 pp

The Cold War gave the United States a compass to orient its policies toward the developing world -- a compass now gone. Building on and revising an argument originally put forward in Foreign Affairs, the editors offer a new conceptual framework for U.S. policy based on two pillars: states decisive to the fate of their regions and the crosscutting issues that affect them all. The pivotal states are Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, Algeria, and Mexico; the cross-cutting issues are population growth, environment, ethnic conflict, human rights, and economics. Since hardly any author can write authoritatively on all these countries and problems, an edited book is needed. To their credit, the editors have assembled a strong, cohesive team. Moreover, their list of pivotal states is interesting. Only Turkey and Egypt rank equally high on the priority list of U.S. defense planners, as authors Don Daniel and Andrew Ross point out. On the other hand, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia are high on government lists, yet these editors do not consider them so pivotal. But this is a book about making choices -- and how to start thinking strategically about the developing world.