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The J Curve
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About the Author

Ian Bremmer is president of the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy. He is a columnist for the Financial Times and has written over 100 articles and essays in the New Statesman, the Harvard Business Review, Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, and the New York Times.

Reviews

Can the democratic nations that fall along Eurasia Group president Bremmer's J Curve help their authoritarian brethren open up? With a five-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"A rare book that manages to be intellectually ambitious, policy-relevant, and layman-friendly. Bremmer convincingly argues that smart American diplomacy, harnessing the forces of globalization, can induce closed societies to open up without falling apart. Timely, thoughtful, and written with verve and clarity, this is an impressive work of analysis and prescription."

-- Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution, former deputy secretary of state
"In one simple graphic, arguably the world's most pressing geopolitical challenge."

-- The Economist
"In The J Curve, Ian Bremmer (Tom Friedman with a Gladwellian streak) argues that nations follow a predictable path to democracy, one we should consider before invading them."

-- New York magazine
"The J Curve provides both policymakers and business strategists with an innovative set of conceptual tools for understanding political risk in rapidly changing societies, tools that integrate political, economic, and security perspectives in new and creative ways."

-- Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History and the Last Man
"This book is a must-read, and not only for its insight into foreign policy. Individual institutions can be assessed on the J curve as well and their evolution similarly evaluated. A stunning analysis, notable for its depth, scope, and clarity."

-- Vinton G. Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist, Google
"Thought-provoking...a welcome return to strategies that offer a more sustainable path for the future."

-- James Steinberg, Austin-American Statesman

With this timely book, political risk consultant Bremmer aims to "describe the political and economic forces that revitalize some states and push others toward collapse." His simple premise is that if one were to graph a nation's stability as a function of its openness, the result would be a "J curve," suggesting that as nations become more open, they become less stable until they eventually surpass their initial levels of stability. In other words, a closed society like Cuba is relatively stable; a more open society like Saudi Arabia is less so; and an extremely open society like the United States is extremely stable. Bremmer expertly distills decades-sometimes centuries-of history as he analyzes 10 countries at different positions on the J curve. North Korea is perhaps the most disturbing example of the left side of the curve, where a closed authoritarian regime produces effective stability; on the right of the curve sit stable countries like Turkey, Israel and India. This leads Bremmer to conclude that political isolation and sanctions often work against their intended results and that globalization is the key to opening closed authoritarian states. Bremmer persuasively illustrates his core thesis without eliding the complexities of global or national politics. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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