Locate nations on the J Curve - left for authoritarian, right for democratic. Then figure out how to force those on the left to open their societies, rather than encouraging them to shut them tighter by further isolating them. The West's isolation of Kim Jong-il's North Korea gives him the cover he needs to extend his brutal regime (the mistake the U.S. made for a long time with Saddam Hussein and Castro); in Saudi Arabia, western governments should encourage manageable change before the country breaks apart; they should help strengthen China's economy so it can further liberalize; they must encourage Israel to decide what kind of country it will be. Filled with imaginative and surprising examples of how to correct outworn political ideas, THE J CURVE points the way for western governments to lead the way to a realistic political balance and a healthier economic future.
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."