International Relations Theory Book Review on The Pentagons New Map by Thomas P.M. Barnett

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Disconnection and alienation are two processes that have been much discussed in many academic disciplines, from a philosophical perspective as well as a sociological one. These two processes are often seen as both a symptom and a cause of the (post)modern condition.


Most significantly, the events of September 11, 2001 have prompted a reappraisal of the global threat dynamic that had existed prior to that date. Moreover, the continued destabilization of certain regions in the world such as Africa has given rise to a culture of war, and retribution in the region, a culture that is bread early in the hearts, minds and behaviors of its youngest members. Two works that address these concerns, Thomas Barnett's The Pentagon's New Map, and Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone, expose the dangers and the deleterious effects of disconnection, the former on a global level and the latter on a personal level. In reviewing these two works, this paper will highlight some of the responses and reactions to the phenomena of disconnection and alienation both strategically and in terms of a personal narrative.
Barnett's hawkish approach to foreign policy is borne out of a growing concern that the fundamentally dynamic nature of globalization is splitting, swiftly and irrevocably, the world into two paradigmatically opposed groups. The first represents what he refers to as the "Core," or functioning core of globalization. This group includes North America, most of South America, Japan, Australia and Europe, India, and China (Barnett 174). ...
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