In This Review

Power Shift: On the New Global Order
Power Shift: On the New Global Order
By Richard Falk
Zed Books, 2016, 304 pp

For almost half a century, in classics such as This Endangered Planet and A Study of Future Worlds, Falk has brought powerful moral and legal insights to debates about order and justice in world politics. In this collection of essays, he argues that the international system is in the midst of a protracted, perilous, but ultimately progressive movement from what he calls “the old geopolitics” to “a new geopolitics.” As Falk sees it, the old order—defined by a Western-dominated system of states and by global capitalism and realist ideology—is incapable of solving the cascading problems of armed violence, environmental catastrophe, despotism, corruption, and human suffering. For Falk, even the liberal internationalist vision of enlightened state leaders working through the un and other global bodies is insufficient to the task. Falk provides no blueprint for an alternative order, but he believes that rising non-Western states and transnational civic actors will pursue new forms of collective action, mobilizing peoples and societies to work toward more just and sustainable forms of political community, and that global spending on military power will be redirected to progressive social purposes.