Book Title: World Order
Author: Henry Kissinger
Details: Published in September 2014 by Penguin books, 374 pages.
Kissinger, a titan of foreign policy, gives a very readable overview of the notion of international order. Using examples from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the book goes through what shapes various orders have had. The book is helpful in highlighting the origin of commonly accepted ideas, such as sovereignty of states, non-interference in domestic affairs, but also universalist ideas centred on particular civilisations or religions.
The book brilliantly uses historical turning points to show how various orders fundamentally impacted international relations over time.
Why read it now? Because it’s a very accessible and relevant read given today’s debate about what direction our current ‘rules-based order’ is taking and what alternatives are contemplated by countries using different language.