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Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World [Paperback]

Ian Bremmer
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 May 2012

G-Zero - n. A world order in which no single country or durable alliance of countries can meet the challenges of global leadership.

Come the worst - a rogue nuclear state, a pandemic, complete financial meltdown - where would the world look for leadership?

A generation ago Europe, the US and Japan were the world's powerhouses; the free-market democracies that propelled the global economy. Today they struggle just to stay on their feet, and there appears to be nobody to step into their shoes.

Acclaimed geopolitical analyst Ian Bremmer argues that the world is facing a leadership vacuum: our need for cooperation has never been greater, but the G20 members are poised for uncertainty and open conflict.

Yet all is not lost. Bremmer shows where positive sources of power can still be found, and how they can be excercised for the common good.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Penguin (3 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670921041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670921041
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ian Bremmer is the founder and president of Eurasia Group, the leading global political risk research and consulting firm. The company provides financial, corporate, and government clients with information and insight on how political developments move markets.

Bremmer created Wall Street's first global political risk index, and has authored several books, including Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World, which details risks and opportunities in a world without global leadership. He also wrote the national bestseller, The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?, and The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall, which was selected by The Economist as one of the best books of 2006. Bremmer is a contributor for the Financial Times A-List and Reuters.com, and writes "The Call" blog on ForeignPolicy.com. Bremmer has a PhD in political science from Stanford University (1994), and he presently teaches at Columbia University. His analysis focuses on global macro political trends and emerging markets, which he defines as "those countries where politics matter at least as much as economics for market outcomes."

Product Description


An author who is always full of insights (George Osborne)

Provocative ... a rising guru (The Economist)

One of the preeminent political analysts of our time (Nouriel Roubini)

Smart and snappy ... provides the most cogent prediction of how the politics of a post-America world will play out. (New Statesman)

A prodigy in the US global commentariat. Mr Bremmer's rehearsal of the consequences should make us all wise up (Financial Times)

A fresh perspective ... an exciting contribution to the galaxy of big ideas on international affairs (Huffington Post)

About the Author

Ian Bremmer is the president of the world's leading global political risk research and consulting firm, Eurasia Group. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, and Harvard Business Review. His six books include The J Curve and The End Of The Free Market.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pro-American! Very informative read 19 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed the book very much by this author. Initially you find yourself wading through (in fine detail many examples of the greatness of the US and it's graceful input to the world) which seemed to be falling apart at the edges until the 'great ole US of A stepped in' and solved everybody's problems....hmm? Once you have managed to escape from the swamp of American greatness, the book does have many positive points, as well as being difficult to put down! Slightly hypocritical from me, is the fact that the author 'does' offer much in the way of criticism of the US and it's ability to make a number of fundamental errors in its International Relations on more than one occasion over the years. It is a very easy read which is a big plus point, I am relatively new to Global Politics but this was a great all-rounder which incorporates the world as a whole both good and bad, inclusive of its lack of real leadership. It does leave the reader with a serious after thought, the author is correct to suggest that collaboration is very much needed in order to try and rectify the many serious issues that we may be faced with in the not too distant future. Having just read "Global Politics" by Andrew Heywood this is a much nicer and easier to understand read I can assure you. I look forward to reading further literature from this author. Highly recommended for students reading politics or international security.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing piece of work. A must read. 4 Feb 2014
Easily the best current critique of international politics.
Some say that it comes from a pro-american standpoint. This is in my opinion unfair, it analyses America's role as a declinging global hegemon and as such is rather balanced in it's view.

I have worn this book out by how much I have read it.
If you are a politics or IR student, you will find no better book to explain the world as it is and the struggles it will soon face.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 21st Century Geopolitics Defined - For Now 16 May 2012
The debate over America's role in the world has only become more contorted as the 2012 presidential election cycle warms up. Frequently, and to deafening applause, Republican audiences would cheer whichever candidate made a point of applauding the permanent fixture of Pax Americana on the international stage. Ian Bremmer's new book addresses the insecurity that this nativism appeals to: how will China's rise affect the international order?

We've become used to an order where the Washington Consensus, the free market, and the reliance on post-World War II institutions (i.e. Bretton Woods institutions) were accepted, nay encouraged. A new order, which Bremmer detailed in his last book, The End of the Free Market, looks at how these neo-corporatist states look at the global stage. Bremmer's new book, Ever Nation for Itself (ENFI), ruthlessly exposes the perspective that Beijing, and other emerging nations, are surveying the world with. The emerging markets, ever the misnomer, have created an entire ecosystem of self-sustaining FDI until we saw the destruction (creative?) of the 2008 economic crisis. Brazil, perhaps learning its lessons from the E.Asian crisis of 1997-98, decided to throw up capital barriers to divestment and others flew the economically illiterate flag of protectionism. These were the opening salvos of a post-G20 world, which this book appropriately names "G-zero."

Overall, we are all going to do OK - if we're to believe Bremmer, which I think we should. As someone who has covered the global political economy for more than 15 years his insight is worth more than most. A recent article in the New York Review of Books by Benjamin Friedman (Whither China?) explores this idea in a more academic lens.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Mainstream View 1 May 2012
By Shlok Vaidya - Published on Amazon.com
Ian Bremmer's Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World is an eminently readable, current, mainstream take on the geopolitical environment. It's a step above Friedman and Zakaria, because he's writing for an informed audience.

Every Nation is a 20,000 ft view of what happens to world as the massive debt bubble pops. Chapter One is a fantastic discussion of why nothing is going to get done re: climate change, oil, terror. Simply: when 'they' launched globalization, they forgot about control systems. It's a chapter that should be taught in all schools.

The rest reads like someone narrating a game of pool just after the break: China's going one direction, the 8-ball another, and in the corner, Turkey's slamming into Greece. The ricochets of globalization. And as far as what that means to nation-states and Fortune 500 companies, this is a good read. These are, after all, Bremmer's bread and butter clients.

But he doesn't do the drivers, the forces justice. Things like peak oil and systems disruption and deviant globalization. Even when he tries to include cybersecurity, it reads like one of his marketing aides told him to add a buzzword. It's un-nuanced at best (he only covers it as a tool of states and kingmakers). So it's not for anyone concerned with unpredictable events or disruptive innovation.

All in all, the book is a good way to stay on top of what's probably best of breed mainstream thinking - which, appropriately, is all it claims to be.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars it was ok - you will not lose much if you skip this 28 July 2012
By anish - Published on Amazon.com
So this is my first Ian Bremmer book and I have to say I was not overly impressed. Based on the title "winners and losers" and the author's interview with Fareed Zakaria (posted on Amazon) I was expecting to get a lot more detail on which nations are going to be winners (or losers) and why.

The Pros: Aside from some interesting jargon that he creates (G-zero, "shadow state", "pivot state") he really does a good job with outlining various global political scenarios and mapping them into a 4 quadrant grid (page 157 I think). This to me was strength of the book and perhaps its essence.

Cons: Quite a few. First - the analysis of each winner or loser country is unbelievably sketchy. He deals with entire countries in a matter of pages without going into any real depth or providing analysis/facts of the country. Also missing was a solid reasoning behind his forecast for winner/loser other than "pivot state".

In the end - the author is a political scientist and seems to evaluate a country's ability to succeed through that one lens.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Non-Fiction Read in Quite Some Time 1 May 2012
By Betty White - Published on Amazon.com
After reading Ian Bremmer's last book, `The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?' (May 2010), I knew he had a knack for taking complex global phenomena and making them relevant, fascinating, and much easier to understand. Every Nation for Itself was that and more. Bremmer takes on the challenge of defining the current world order by boiling down a whole spectrum of currents events--everything from Europe's sovereign debt crisis, squabbles between developed and developing countries on climate change, the Arab Spring, conflict in the Asia Pacific, America's overgrown debt and unemployment figures, oil price shocks... the list goes on. In the G-Zero in which we live today- a world where America and its allies will no longer lead, but other countries like China are unwilling to pick up the slack-- things are far more uncertain. The economic outlook is more bleak. But what I loved is that this environment is still packed with opportunities, many of which are counter-intuitive, and Bremmer goes through with specific examples of companies and countries that are primed for success (or failure!). Chapter 4 read like a cheat sheet for success in more volatile, leaderless times. Bremmer makes these insightful predictions on who will win, who will lose, and then on what comes next. The whole book was very digestible and a quick read--and it felt like a crash course in global affairs, leaving me with a better understanding and more informed opinion on current events, foreign policy, and the world's shifting balance of power. I highly recommend Every Nation for Itself: my best non-fiction read in quite some time.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insight political read! 2 May 2012
By Maria K - Published on Amazon.com
I'm no expert in global politics, but I've always had an enthusiasm for the subject. To anyone with a genuine curiosity for international relations- and for how politics and economics intersect globally- Every Nation For Itself is a very good read: I ended up reading it in one night and one afternoon. It touches on such a broad range of subjects. Bremmer summarizes how the world order of today spawned from WWII. He outlines all of the biggest global challenges and supplies some unconventional insights--discussion of how the Arctic is primed to become a battleground for resources in the coming decades was an interesting angle I hadn't encountered before. He must mention over 100 countries, naming dozens of winners and losers in the "G-Zero" world that he very convincingly portrays as our reality today. If you have more than a passing interest in world affairs, international relations, or geopolitics--or general current events globally-- definitely worth the time and money. A quick read too.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Enjoyable-- a Must-Read 1 May 2012
By Michael Adam - Published on Amazon.com
Every Nation for Itself is a rare thing: it informs and it entertains. Ian Bremmer has managed to outline the birth of the US-led global order after World War II, map its evolution through all of history's flashiest highlights, and explain how the system has broken down in the wake of the financial crisis. From here, he explains what the G-Zero environment entails: a lack of global leadership means all of the most pressing international challenges will go unmet. Issues like climate change, nuclear proliferation, resource scarcity, trade wars--you name it-- will not be addressed. The first step: countries and companies need to accept this new reality. Second? They can learn how to benefit from a turbulent new world order that is increasingly volatile, regional, and devoid of referees. Chapter 4 focuses on these winners and losers, mapping out the ingredients for success in today's global environment. One such example: bet on Brazil, because it can play a dangerous game increasingly well--its significant trade with the US and China lets it avoid relying too heavily on either one. This `eggs in every basket' approach is one winning strategy--if a country can pull it off. We've seen Taiwan continue reaching out to the United States and the West, but there is only so much it can do when its stuck in China's shadow--Taiwan is an example of a loser in the G-Zero world.

From here, Bremmer goes on to predict the future, quite literally. He has a very clever metric for mapping out the different scenarios that could unfold in the years to come. The four main possibilities: we could see a harmonious world order that resembles the G20, a harmonious system propped up by the US and China, a more hostile power balance where the US and China engage in a Cold War 2.0, or a conflict-laced dynamic where regions play the biggest roles and the way neighbors coordinate or clash is of the utmost importance. Bremmer concludes by offering advice to the US if it wants to be successful in righting the ship and navigating such a difficult global environment.

This book is packed with insights about the world we live in today--and it's a quick, easy read. I couldn't recommend it more highly.
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