Pub. Date:
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

by Moises Naim


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, October 21


The provocative bestseller explaining the decline of power in the twenty-first century — in government, business, and beyond.

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 provocative, original research and a lifetime of experience in global affairs, Naím explains how the end of power is reconfiguring our world.

"The End of Power will . . . change the way you look at the world." — Bill Clinton

"Extraordinary." — George Soros

"Compelling and original." — Arianna Huffington

"A fascinating new perspective . . . Naím makes eye-opening connections." — Francis Fukuyama

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465065691
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 03/11/2014
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 446,703
Product dimensions: 6.28(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Moisés Naím is a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an internationally syndicated columnist. He served as editor in chief of Foreign Policy, as Venezuela's trade minister, and as executive director of the World Bank.

Table of Contents

Preface: How This Book Came About xi

Chapter 1 The Decay of Power 1

Have You Heard of James Black Jr.? 2

From the Chess Board … to Everything Around Us 4

What Changed? 10

The Decay of Power: Is It New? Is It True? So What? 12

But What Is Power? 15

The Decay of Power: What's at Stake? 17

Chapter 2 Making Sense of Power: How It Works and How to Keep It 20

How to Talk About Power 22

How Power Works 23

Why Power Shifts-or Stays Steady 27

The Importance of Barriers to Power 28

The Blueprint: Explaining Market Power 30

Barriers to Entry: A Key to Market Power 31

From Barriers to Entry to Barriers to Power 33

Chapter 3 How Power Got Big: An Assumption's Unquestioned Rise 35

Max Weber, or Why Size Made Sense 38

How the World Went Weberian 42

The Myth of the Power Elite? 45

Chapter 4 How Power Lost Its Edge: The More, Mobility, and Mentality Revolutions 51

So What Has Changed? 52

The More Revolution: Overwhelming the Means of Control 54

The Mobility Revolution: The End of Captive Audiences 58

The Mentality Revolution: Taking Nothing for Granted Anymore 64

How Does It Work? 65

Revolutionary Consequences: Undermining the Barriers to Power 70

Barriers Down: The Opportunity for Micropowers 74

Chapter 5 Why Are Landslides, Majorities, and Mandates Endangered Species? The Decay of Power in National Politics 76

From Empires to States: The More Revolution and the Proliferation of Countries 80

From Despots to Democrats 82

From Majorities to Minorities 86

From Parties to Factions 91

From Capitals to Regions 95

From Governors to Lawyers 97

From Leaders to Laymen 100

Hedge Funds and Hacktivists 101

The Political Centrifuge 103

Chapter 6 Pentagons Versus Pirates: The Decaying Power of Large Armies 107

The Big Rise of Small Forces 112

The End of the Ultimate Monopoly: The Use of Violence 115

A Tsunami of Weapons 118

The Decay of Power and the New Rules of War 121

Chapter 7 Whose World Will It Be? Vetoes, Resistance, and Leaks-or Why Geopolitics Is Turning Upside Down 129

The Stakes of Hegemony 135

The New Ingredients 137

If Not Hegemony, Then What? 139

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Traditional Power at Bay 141

Soft Power for All 147

The New Rules of Geopolitics 149

Just Say No 150

From Ambassadors to Gongos: The New Emissaries 152

Alliances of the Few 155

Anyone in Charge Here? 156

Chapter 8 Business as Unusual: Corporate Dominance Under Siege 159

In the Land of Bosses, Authority, and Hierarchy 163

What Is Globalization Doing to Business Concentration? 165

The Power and Peril of Brands 166

Market Power: The Antidote to Business Insecurity 168

Barriers Are Down, Competition Is Up 171

New Entrants and New Opportunities 184

What Does All This Mean? 191

Chapter 9 Hyper-Competition for Your Soul, Heart, and Brain 193

Religion: The Nine Billion Names of God 194

Labor: New Unions and Nonunions 200

Philanthropy: Putting the Bono in Pro Bono 205

Media: Everyone Reports, Everyone Decides 211

Chapter 10 The Decay of Power: Is the Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty? 218

Celebrating the Decay of Power 219

What's Not to Like? The Dangers of Decay 221

Political Paralysis as Collateral Damage of the Decay of Power 222

Ruinous Competition 224

Be Careful What You Wish For: Overdosing on Checks and Balances 225

Five Risks 227

Chapter 11 Power Is Decaying: So What? What to Do? 233

Get Off the Elevator 234

Make Life Harder for the "Terrible Simplifiers" 236

Bring Trust Back 237

Strengthen Political Parties: The Lessons from Occupy Wall Street and Al Qaeda 239

Increase Political Participation 241

The Coming Surge of Political Innovations 243

Appendix: Democracy and Political Power 245

Acknowledgments 255

Notes 259

Bibliography 279

Index 289

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

A timely and timeless book.”

“Having served as editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy and the executive director of the World Bank, Naím knows better than most what power on a global scale looks like…. [A] timely, insightful, and eloquent message.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Foreign Policy editor-in-chief Naím argues that global institutions of power are losing their ability to command respect. Whether considering institutions of government, military, religion or business, the author believes their power to be in the process of decaying…. A data-packed, intriguing analysis.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Moisés Naím’s extraordinary new book will be of great interest to all those in leadership positions—business executives, politicians, military officers, social activists and even religious leaders. Readers will gain a new understanding of why power has become easier to acquire and harder to exercise. The End of Power will spark intense and important debate worldwide.”

—George Soros

“After you read The End of Power you will see the world through different eyes. Moisés Naím provides a compelling and original perspective on the surprising new ways power is acquired, used, and lost—and how these changes affect our daily lives.”

—Arianna Huffington

“Moisés Naím is one of the most trenchant observers of the global scene. In The End of Power, he offers a fascinating new perspective on why the powerful face more challenges than ever. Probing into the shifting nature of power across a broad range of human endeavors, from business to politics to the military, Naím makes eye-opening connections between phenomena not usually linked, and forces us to re-think both how our world has changed and how we need to respond.”

—Francis Fukuyama

Customer Reviews