Cover image for The end of power : from boardrooms to battlefields and churches to states, why being in charge isn't what it used to be
The end of power : from boardrooms to battlefields and churches to states, why being in charge isn't what it used to be
Naím, Moisés, author.
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Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group, 2014.

Physical Description:
xiii, 306 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
"Power is shifting--from large, stable armies to loose bands of insurgents, from corporate leviathans to nimble start-ups, and from presidential palaces to public squares. But power is also changing, becoming harder to use and easier to lose. In The End of Power, award-winning columnist and former Foreign Policy editor Moisés Naím illuminates the struggle between once-dominant megaplayers and the new micropowers challenging them in every field of human endeavor. Drawing on provacative, original research and a lifetime of experience in global affairs, Naím explains how the end of power is reconfiguring our world"--
Decay of power -- Making sense of power : how it works and how to keep it -- How power got big : an assumption's unquestioned rise -- How power lost its edge : the more, mobility, and mentality revolutions -- Why are landslides, majorities, and mandates endangered species? : the decay of power in national politics -- Pentagons versus pirates : the decaying power of large armies -- Whose world will it be? Vetoes, resistance, and leaks : or why geopolitics is turning upside down -- Business as unusual : corporate dominance under siege -- Hyper-competition for your soul, heart, and brain -- Decay of power : is the glass half-full or half-empty? -- Power is decaying : so what? what to do?
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HN49.P6 N35 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Mark Zuckerberg's inaugural pick for his "Year of Books" challenge, The End of Power updates the very notion of power for the 21st century. Power, we know, is shifting: From West to East and North to South, from presidential palaces to public squares, from once formidable corporate behemoths to nimble startups and, slowly but surely, from men to women. But power is not merely dispersing; it is also decaying. Those in power today are more constrained in what they can do with it and more at risk of losing it than ever before.

In The End of Power , award-winning columnist and former Foreign Policy editor Moisés Naím illuminates the struggle between once-dominant megaplayers and the new micropowers challenging them in every field of human endeavor. Drawing on provocative, original research, Naím shows how the antiestablishment drive of micropowers can topple tyrants, dislodge monopolies, and open remarkable new opportunities, but it can also lead to chaos and paralysis. Naím deftly covers the seismic changes underway in business, religion, education, within families, and in all matters of war and peace. Examples abound in all walks of life: In 1977, eighty-nine countries were ruled by autocrats while today more than half the world's population lives in democracies. CEO's are more constrained and have shorter tenures than their predecessors. Modern tools of war, cheaper and more accessible, make it possible for groups like Hezbollah to afford their own drones. In the second half of 2010, the top ten hedge funds earned more than the world's largest six banks combined.

Those in power retain it by erecting powerful barriers to keep challengers at bay. Today, insurgent forces dismantle those barriers more quickly and easily than ever, only to find that they themselves become vulnerable in the process. In this accessible and captivating book, Naím offers a revolutionary look at the inevitable end of power-and shows how it will change your world.

Author Notes

Moisés Naím (born July 5, 1952) is a Distinguished Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an internationally syndicated columnist whose writings are published by leading papers worldwide, and the author of more than 10 books. Naím was the editor in chief of Foreign Policy magazine for 14 years (1996-2010). Since 2011, he has directed and hosted Efecto Naim, a weekly television program on international affairs. He is the former Minister of Trade and Industry for Venezuela and Director of its Central Bank and Executive Director of the World Bank. His non-fiction book, The End of Power, was on the New York Times bestseller list in 2015.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Naim, scholar and columnist, explains that power is what we exercise over others that leads them to behave in ways they would not otherwise have behaved. He builds his case for the decay of power claiming that power no longer buys as much; it is easier to get, harder to use, and easier to lose. Presidents, executives in financial services and oil companies, international religious leaders, and politicians continue to wield great power, but less so than their predecessors; today's leaders have more challenges, competitors, and constraints in the form of citizen activism, global markets, and the ever-present media. The decay of power has made space globally for new ventures, companies, voices, and more opportunities, but it also holds great potential for instability. Naim concludes that now we are more vulnerable to bad ideas and bad leaders, and strongly recommends a conversation not on the obsession with who/what is Number One but what is going on inside those nations, political movements, corporations, and religions. A timely and timeless book.--Whaley, Mary Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Over the past few years, grassroots movements have redirected global conversations about power and rights, though the status quo in many cases has proved more resistant to change. Nevertheless, Naim (Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy) contends that traditional forms of power are being transformed and shifted onto new shoulders. Having served as editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy and the executive director of the World Bank, Naim knows better than most what power on a global scale looks like. He first guides readers through an understanding of "How Power Got Big," before demonstrating the myriad ways in which the dominance of hierarchical organizations is eroding. Technological developments have empowered individuals to group together for the betterment of society, but they have also enabled extremists to wreak havoc with very few resources. "The implications of the decay of power are momentous and manifold," Naim argues. He says that our best defense is to be prepared: we must eschew "dangerously antiquated" notions of power and shift our focus from rising to the top to "inhabit[ing] the middle of the curve in a time of massive and rapid change." It's a timely, insightful, and eloquent message. Agent: Rafe Sagalyn, Sagalyn Literary. (Mar. 5) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Choice Review

Naim (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), formerly editor of Foreign Policy Magazine, who served as Venezuela's minister of industry and trade and as executive director of the World Bank, presents a challenging and provocative theme, as simple as it is profound: "power ... is undergoing a historic and world-changing transformation"--it is "decaying." He further argues that power is "coming under attack in an unprecedented way" and that power is "yielding diminishing returns." Power, as the book's subtitle reminds readers, just "isn't what it used to be." This is due to that fact that the" barriers to power have weakened" and are now "more easily undermined, overwhelmed, and circumvented." This has led to "new players" rising to challenge the entrenched but crumbling status quo. If correct, this transformation will likely usher in a period of instability, a decline in authority, and weakened political order. This compelling and powerfully argued book is highly recommended for those concerned with the rapidly diminishing role of political leadership in a global context. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers, upper-division undergraduate students, graduate students, and research faculty. M. A. Genovese Loyola Marymount University

Table of Contents

Preface: How This Book Came Aboutp. xi
Chapter 1 The Decay of Powerp. 1
Have You Heard of James Black Jr.?p. 2
From the Chess Board ... to Everything Around Usp. 4
What Changed?p. 10
The Decay of Power: Is It New? Is It True? So What?p. 12
But What Is Power?p. 15
The Decay of Power: What's at Stake?p. 17
Chapter 2 Making Sense of Power: How It Works and How to Keep Itp. 20
How to Talk About Powerp. 22
How Power Worksp. 23
Why Power Shifts-or Stays Steadyp. 27
The Importance of Barriers to Powerp. 28
The Blueprint: Explaining Market Powerp. 30
Barriers to Entry: A Key to Market Powerp. 31
From Barriers to Entry to Barriers to Powerp. 33
Chapter 3 How Power Got Big: An Assumption's Unquestioned Risep. 35
Max Weber, or Why Size Made Sensep. 38
How the World Went Weberianp. 42
The Myth of the Power Elite?p. 45
Chapter 4 How Power Lost Its Edge: The More, Mobility, and Mentality Revolutionsp. 51
So What Has Changed?p. 52
The More Revolution: Overwhelming the Means of Controlp. 54
The Mobility Revolution: The End of Captive Audiencesp. 58
The Mentality Revolution: Taking Nothing for Granted Anymorep. 64
How Does It Work?p. 65
Revolutionary Consequences: Undermining the Barriers to Powerp. 70
Barriers Down: The Opportunity for Micropowersp. 74
Chapter 5 Why Are Landslides, Majorities, and Mandates Endangered Species? The Decay of Power in National Politicsp. 76
From Empires to States: The More Revolution and the Proliferation of Countriesp. 80
From Despots to Democratsp. 82
From Majorities to Minoritiesp. 86
From Parties to Factionsp. 91
From Capitals to Regionsp. 95
From Governors to Lawyersp. 97
From Leaders to Laymenp. 100
Hedge Funds and Hacktivistsp. 101
The Political Centrifugep. 103
Chapter 6 Pentagons Versus Pirates: The Decaying Power of Large Armiesp. 107
The Big Rise of Small Forcesp. 112
The End of the Ultimate Monopoly: The Use of Violencep. 115
A Tsunami of Weaponsp. 118
The Decay of Power and the New Rules of Warp. 121
Chapter 7 Whose World Will It Be? Vetoes, Resistance, and Leaks-or Why Geopolitics Is Turning Upside Downp. 129
The Stakes of Hegemonyp. 135
The New Ingredientsp. 137
If Not Hegemony, Then What?p. 139
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Traditional Power at Bayp. 141
Soft Power for Allp. 147
The New Rules of Geopoliticsp. 149
Just Say Nop. 150
From Ambassadors to Gongos: The New Emissariesp. 152
Alliances of the Fewp. 155
Anyone in Charge Here?p. 156
Chapter 8 Business as Unusual: Corporate Dominance Under Siegep. 159
In the Land of Bosses, Authority, and Hierarchyp. 163
What Is Globalization Doing to Business Concentration?p. 165
The Power and Peril of Brandsp. 166
Market Power: The Antidote to Business Insecurityp. 168
Barriers Are Down, Competition Is Upp. 171
New Entrants and New Opportunitiesp. 184
What Does All This Mean?p. 191
Chapter 9 Hyper-Competition for Your Soul, Heart, and Brainp. 193
Religion: The Nine Billion Names of Godp. 194
Labor: New Unions and Nonunionsp. 200
Philanthropy: Putting the Bono in Pro Bonop. 205
Media: Everyone Reports, Everyone Decidesp. 211
Chapter 10 The Decay of Power: Is the Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?p. 218
Celebrating the Decay of Powerp. 219
What's Not to Like? The Dangers of Decayp. 221
Political Paralysis as Collateral Damage of the Decay of Powerp. 222
Ruinous Competitionp. 224
Be Careful What You Wish For: Overdosing on Checks and Balancesp. 225
Five Risksp. 227
Chapter 11 Power Is Decaying: So What? What to Do?p. 233
Get Off the Elevatorp. 234
Make Life Harder for the "Terrible Simplifiers"p. 236
Bring Trust Backp. 237
Strengthen Political Parties: The Lessons from Occupy Wall Street and Al Qaedap. 239
Increase Political Participationp. 241
The Coming Surge of Political Innovationsp. 243
Appendix: Democracy and Political Powerp. 245
Acknowledgmentsp. 255
Notesp. 259
Bibliographyp. 279
Indexp. 289