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Mind the Gap
Document type: article
As a bestselling author and influential speaker, Thomas P.M. Barnett explains how to understand the world, the US mission to manage that job, and its implications for all policies we used to call ‘external’. Barnett is also senior managing director of a company called Enterra Solutions, a platform for pushing ‘new rules sets in the military and market worlds’. Two-thirds of the world is connected and the rest is not. The connected countries form the Core and the rest the Gap. The Gap countries define the danger. Rather than threatening the Core with its destructive power, the Gap causes fear by its disruptive outside acts. It challenges its rules and may harm Core countries by causing pinpoint crises and ‘system perturbations’. The mission of the Core (read the US) is to meet the threat by making the Gap connected. How? By an external policy mix of flows: by exporting security, letting investment money flow into the Gap, and somehow sustaining the global flows of people and energy that cross the line between the Core and the Gap. You call that policy mix ‘system administration’, which essentially deals with the disconnected in order to protect the connected, and thereby the world itself. It is the moral mission of the US to conduct and manage that kind of system administration.
© 2008 IDP. This article has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported license.
Economic Development and Trade
Mind the Gap