Still Ours To Lead

Still Ours to Lead

America, Rising Powers, and the Tension between Rivalry and Restraint

Is the U.S.A. losing its “superpower” status? Are the rising powers set to challenge the international order? What is the future of global stability?

What’s become clear to me is that while the rising powers--principally China, India, Brazil, but also Turkey, Indonesia, Korea and others--want to increase their influence and protect their interests, the United States still occupies a central place in their thinking and their strategies. And only the U.S. can help all these players forge an effective international order." —Bruce Jones


For over a decade, Bruce Jones has had a front-row seat as the emerging powers thrust themselves onto the global stage. From Delhi to Doha to Beijing to Brasilia, he’s met with the politicians, diplomats, business leaders, and scholars of the emerging powers as they craft their strategies for rising influence—and with senior American officials as they forge their response. 

In Still Ours to Lead, Jones tells a nuanced story of American leadership. He artfully examines the tension between the impulse to rival the U.S.A and the incentives for restraint and cooperation among the rising powers. Both are alive and well in the current system, and the balance provides a continued ability to solve problems and to manage crises at roughly the same rate as when American dominance was unquestioned. Maintaining that balance is central to the question of whether we will live in a stable or unstable system in the period to come. But it just so happens that this challenge plays to America’s unique strength—its unparalleled ability to pull together broad and disparate coalitions for action. To succeed, America will have to adapt its leadership to new realities.

Advance Praise for Still Ours to Lead

"An indispensable antidote both to boosterish America-first-ism and to doomy Asia-first-ism. Jones demonstrates that the ‘rise of the rest’ need not be a zero-sum game for the U.S., because new powers like China depend on the international system that the U.S. leads. Jones shows us that optimism can be based, not on ideology or blind faith, but on a hard-headed understanding of global trends." 
—James Traub, columnist at Foreign Policy and author of The Freedom Agenda

"Bruce Jones’s analysis is persuasive; better still, he provides a detailed manual for American coalitional diplomacy to address problems from climate change to maritime security. Still Ours to Lead accepts the reality of rising powers while reminding established powers, above all the United States, of just how much they stand to lose if they fail to lead."
—Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO, New America Foundation, and Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University

"This smart and important book provides a blueprint for American global leadership in the coming decades. With all the hype about American decline, following a period of what some have called American hubris, Bruce Jones offers a clear-eyed assessment of the true state of the international order and a realistic path ahead for the U.S. His analysis and his prescriptions offer wisdom for all sides in the debate." —Robert Kagan

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