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America's Waning Influence in 'The Second World'

Parag Khanna believes that America's dominant moment is over. In his new book, The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order, he argues that the 21st centruy will be dominated by three first-world superpowers: the United States, China and the European Union.

He warns of global conflict as the superpowers compete for control of energy and natural resources in regions like Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Each of the superpowers has a different style and different goals, Khanna says, and the U.S. would do well to learn from its savvy competitors when it comes to dealing with nations teetering precariously on the boundaries between second- and third-world.

The New York Times described The Second World as "rewarding simply as a primer on contemporary geopolitics. Anyone curious about the lay of the land in Algeria or Tajikistan can get answers, and a dash of local color, in Mr. Khanna's succinct chapters."

Born in India, Khanna was raised in the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Germany. He is a senior research fellow in the American Strategy Program of the New America Foundation.

This discussion of The Second World was recorded in March 2008 at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR's Arts Desk.