The Johns Hopkins Gazette: September 16, 2002
September 16, 2002
VOL. 32, NO. 3


SAIS Prof Mandelbaum Publishes Book on Post-Sept. 11 Global Politics

By Felisa Neuringer
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Michael Mandelbaum, the Christian A. Herter Professor and director of the American Foreign Policy Program at SAIS, has published The Ideas That Conquered the World: Peace, Democracy and Free Markets in the 21st Century. The book was released this month by PublicAffairs.

In a time of war and uncertainty, The Ideas That Conquered the World offers a major new statement about the fault lines of the 21st century, from globalization to terrorism, from great-power conflict to common security. Mandelbaum argues that three ideas dominate the world today: peace as the preferred basis for relations between and among different countries, democracy as the optimal way to organize political life, and free markets as the indispensable vehicle for the creation of wealth. While not practiced everywhere, they have--for the first time in history--no serious rivals.

Mandelbaum says that although the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were terrible and traumatic, they did not "change everything," as so many commentators have asserted. Instead, these events served to illuminate even more brightly the world that emerged from the end of the Cold War. Mandelbaum assesses the prospects for these ideas in the years to come, giving particular attention to the United States, which bears the greatest responsibility for protecting and promoting them, and to Russia, China and the Middle East, in which they are not well-established and where their fate will affect the rest of the world.

Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, said of the book, "Michael Mandelbaum has stepped back from the crises of the moment to look at the big picture. What he sees is stability, prosperity and international consensus. As Americans worry about the future, they should read this work of intelligent optimism."

Mandelbaum, also a senior fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, is a regular international affairs columnist for Newsday and the author or co-author of seven other books on foreign policy.