Originally published 01/22/2013
BEIJING — It’s a provocative idea — and a disturbing one. The world in 2013 looks “eerily” like the world in 1913, writes Charles Emmerson, a senior research fellow at Chatham House.Substitute the United States for the United Kingdom, and China for Germany, and the parallels are fairly clear.“The leading power of the age is in relative decline, beset by political crisis at home and by steadily eroding economic prowess,” Mr. Emmerson writes in “Eve of Disaster,” a piece in Foreign Policy magazine.“Rising powers are jostling for position in the four corners of the world, some seeking a new place for themselves within the current global order, others questioning its very legitimacy. Democracy and despotism are locked in uneasy competition.In his essay, Mr. Emmerson notes that “the United States in 2013 may not be a perfect analogue for Britain in 1913 (nor China in 2013 a perfect analogue for Germany in 1913).” But, he says, “The world of 1913 — brilliant, dynamic, interdependent — offers a warning.”...
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