Center for American Progress

Power and Superpower: Global Leadership and Exceptionalism in the 21st Century

Power and Superpower: Global Leadership and Exceptionalism in the 21st Century

The CAP and TCP’s new book, Power and Superpower, outlines a new foreign policy in support of a peaceful world.

The United States entered the 21st century as a global leader, respected as much for its ideals as for its power to shape events. American leadership served as the bedrock for the international order, promoting prosperity and peace both at home and abroad. But in the first years of the new century, U.S. foreign policy—exemplified by war in Iraq, the rejection of international treaties, and disregard for traditional allies—is giving many the impression that we have had abandoned that leadership role in favor of one premised on military power.

In Power and Superpower: Global Leadership and Exceptionalism in the 21st Century, a joint project of the Center for American Progress and The Century Foundation, some of the United States’ most distinguished and experienced policymakers and experts outline a foreign policy that would allow America to reclaim its status as a reliable and visionary global leader.

Power and Superpower lays out the themes of a progressive foreign policy vision for the 21st century, which harnesses U.S. power wisely in support of a peaceful and prosperous world. The chapters in the book show why a commitment to multilateralism, strong international institutions, and a global rule of law that binds all nations mattered in the past, matter in the present, and will matter in the future. Many of the chapters in the book also demonstrate why an American “exceptionalism” premised on the notion that the United States, as an inherently good and powerful country, should be exempt from global rules and obligations actually damages, rather than furthers, U.S. security interests.

Power and Superpower’s essays feature such prominent figures as former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark, former Assistant Secretary of State James Dobbins, former Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice, and former Deputy National Security Adviser Jim Steinberg. In addition, several Center for American Progress experts, including Morton H. Halperin, William Schulz, Gayle Smith, and Daniel Tarullo, wrote chapters for the book. A final section in the volume presents the remarks of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown, former U.S. Representative James Leach, and philanthropist George Soros at the June 2006 Center for American Progress-Century Foundation international security conference in New York.

The book is published by The Century Foundation Press and is edited by Morton H. Halperin, Jeff Laurenti, Peter Rundlet, and Spencer P. Boyer.

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