Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The promise of noopolitikk

The promise of noöpolitik
by David Ronfeldt and John Arquilla
This is another interesting article from First Monday, about the noosphere - a realm of communal mind conceived of 80 years ago by Teilhard de Chardin, but only now enabled by cyperspace - and its impact on grand strategy and diplomacy in the form of noöpolitik. The authors' thoughts on noöpolitik will be collected in a forthcoming handbook on public diplomacy.

Table 1: Contrast between realpolitik and noöpolitik.
States as the unit of analysisNodes, non–state actors
Primacy of hard power (resources, etc.)Primacy of soft power
Power politics as zero–sum gameWin–win, lose–lose possible
System is anarchic, highly conflictualHarmony of interests, cooperation
Alliance conditional (oriented to threat)Ally webs vital to security
Primacy of national self–interestPrimacy of shared interests
Politics as unending quest for advantageExplicitly seeking a telos
Ethos is amoral, if not immoralEthics crucially important
Behavior driven by threat and powerCommon goals drive actors
Very guarded about information flowsPropensity for info–sharing
Balance of power as the “steady–state”Balance of responsibilities
Power embedded in nation–statesPower in “global fabric”