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Question: Who are the Big Three? Whom did you leave out? 

Parag Khanna:There is a lot of people, especially in the 1990s, people used to say, maybe the 21st century will have five super powers, maybe it will have seven, now maybe it will be three. But then there will, though, be a few beneath them. Or there will be one America on top, and set a regional power zone.

The world is not really that clean and tidy. It is not going to fit into an ordered chart like that. I simply believe that a superpower has to have influence everywhere in the world all the time, round the clock, and be able to change the way people think and the way they act and the way they decide what they are going to do, anywhere in the world.

And the only three powers that can do that, all these imperial systems or superpowers, which are America, the European Union and China.

Russia does not do that any more and it can't. It has large nuclear stock piled of course, but it is not about to launch the war on Argentina and otherwise, does not effect the policies of South America. But Europe does and China does.

Islam does not do that, it isn't a coherent superpower.

India isn’t yet there and may never be there, and so I took that sort of hierarchy.

And I said there is only really three that meet the test, what the super power is, and what always has been, and those are the three and that is why I focused on them.

It is not so much about emphasizing with these were three mutually exclusive competitive monolithic superpowers. It is not France versus Germany versus Britain versus Russia in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is much more about these three imperial systems that are setting the rules or making their own rules, and competing with each other either hard or soft ways all the time.

Recorded on: 3/3/2008




Three New Superpowers

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