In this landmark book, Robert Cooper sets out his radical interpretation of the new world order that has emerged from the debris of communism. He defines all states as belonging to one of three types: lawless 'pre-modern' states; 'modern' states that are fiercely protective of their sovereignty and 'postmodern' states that operate on the basis of openness, law and mutual security. The United States, Cooper shows, has yet to decide whether to embrace the 'postmodern' world or pursue unilateralism and power politics. As Cooper demonstrates the key question confronting Europeans is whether to use the rougher methods of an earlier era - force, pre-emptive attack, deception - to safeguard what they have achieved. The Breaking of Nations is an essential account of the times in which we live.
ROBERT COOPER is one of Europe's most senior diplomats. A former special advisor on foreign affairs to Tony Blair, he is currently Director-General of External and Politico-Military Affairs for the Council of the European Union.