Preface  pp. xiii-xiv


By James N. Rosenau

Image View Previous Chapter Next Chapter



This book cuts a wide and lengthy swathe across the political landscape for two essential reasons. One is the subject matter, that elusive realm where the necessities of global governance and the deepening complexity of global life intersect. With boundaries eroding, identities shifting, and some political structures cohering while others are fragmenting, the dangers of oversimplification far outweigh those of excessive elaboration. If domestic and foreign affairs are increasingly part and parcel of each other, the analyst has little choice but to probe both the internal and external dynamics of societal life and the intricate connections between them. Hence, while I would rather have written a short, concise and incisive volume, I have opted for addressing multiple causes, coping with subtle nuances, and tracing contradictions that cannot readily be ignored.

And even as one acknowledges that this strategy has resulted in an extensive manuscript, so is one aware of all the questions that still cry out for examination and all the gaps that still need to be filled. From the perspective of these limitations, what follows is truly a set of explorations rather than a definitive work.

A second reason for the wide-ranging scope of the ensuing chapters derives from the heuristic power of the model that I developed nearly a decade ago and subsequently presented in Turbulence in World Politics: A Theory of Change and Continuity (Princeton University Press, 1990).