Shaper Nations: Strategies
for a Changing World
William I. Hitchcock, Melvyn P. Leffler and
Jeffrey W. Legro, Harvard University Press,
2016, $35/hardcover, 216 pages.
This collection of essays focuses on eight
“shaper” nations that have decisive influ-
ence within their own regional spheres
and will likely determine the future course
of global affairs: Brazil, China, Germany, India, Israel, Russia,
Turkey and the United States. The aim is to identify the sources
of national strategy for each nation and evaluate the impact the
pursuit of that strategy is having on contemporary world politics.
The result is a fresh, new perspective on 21st-century security
threats and the kind of strategic thinking needed to effectively
meet today’s challenges.
William I. Hitchcock is a professor of history at the Univer-
sity of Virginia, where Melvyn P. Leffler is the Edward Stettinius
professor of history. Jeffrey W. Legro is Ambassador Henry J.
Taylor and Mrs. Marion R. Taylor Professor of Politics and vice
provost for global affairs at the University of Virginia.
Minding the Gap: African Conflict
Management in a Time of Change
Pamela Aall and Chester A. Crocker,
CIGI Press, 2016, $38/paperback,
$15.38/Kindle, 342 pages.
A compilation of essays by more than 20
Minding the Gap: African Con-
flict Management in a Time of Change
puts conflict management in Africa into perspective, examin-
ing both the problems involved and the continent’s evolving
capacity to undertake the task effectively. Heavily supported
by hard data, this book is a significant contribution in this criti-cal area. (See retired Ambassador Tibor Nagy’s review in the October FSJ .)
Chester Crocker, who served as assistant secretary of State for
African affairs from 1981 to 1989, is a distinguished fellow with
the Centre for International Governance Innovation’s Global
Security and Politics Program and James R. Schlesinger professor
of strategic studies at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of
Foreign Service. Pamela Aall is a senior fellow with CIGI’s Global
Security and Politics Program and founding provost of the U.S.
Institute of Peace’s Academy for International Conflict Manage-
ment and Peacebuilding.
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
OF RELATED INTEREST
Europe's Troubled Future
Giles Merritt, Oxford University Press,
2016, $29.95/hardcover, 270 pages.
A self-described “skeptical Europhile,”
Giles Merritt lays bare the issues surround-
ing what he argues is Europe’s imminent
decline and the best courses of action to
slow or reduce it. He offers a clear to-do list
for European countries, including a recommendation for stron-
ger unification of national governments across Europe. He also
discusses the rise of Asia as a formidable competitor and delves
into the strengths and weaknesses of the European Union. This is
a timely read for anyone concerned about Europe’s options in a
Giles Merritt served as a
correspondent for 15
years before founding Friends of Europe, a think-tank in Brussels,
, a policy journal. He is the author of several
books, including the award-winning
World Out of Work
City Squares: 18 Writers on
the Spirit and Significance of
Squares Around the World
Catie Marron, Harper-Collins, 2016,
$32.50/hardcover, 304 pages.
City squares have been sites for commerce,
celebrations, public protest and peaceful
gatherings since the time of the ancient
Greeks. The square is the one essential public space that has
“stood the test of time,” editor Catie Marron writes in the intro-
duction to this unusual book.
Essays by noted contributors—
editor David Rem-
magazine editor and Under Secretary of State
for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel, novelist
Anne Beattie and others—about prominent and some not-so-
famous city squares on four continents are organized in three
sections that look at these metropolitan gathering places from
cultural, geopolitical and historical perspectives.
Catie Marron is chairman of the board of directors of Friends
of the High Line and a trustee of the New York Public Library,
where she was chairman of the board for seven years. She is a
contributing editor to
and the editor of
City Parks: Public
Places, Private Thoughts