Hot Spots

American Foreign Policy in a Post-Human-Rights World
ISBN: 978-1-4128-4963-0
December 31, 2012

Hot Spots: American Foreign Policy in a Post-Human Rights World

Transaction Publishers, Published October 2012

In Hot Spots, a former senior advisor to the White House, Amitai Etzioni, criticizes current trends in American and Western foreign policy and the shifting of attention from the Middle East to China. Etzioni argues that the true hot spots continue to be in the Middle East, not the Far East, and that for now, China should be treated by the United States as a potential global partner, not as an adversary.

Etzioni shows how we should cope with an unstable Pakistan armed with nuclear weapons, the threat of Iran, and Afghanistan which is on the verge of collapse. He also develops criteria for assessing when on-the-ground interventions are justified, in places such as Syria. He demonstrates that Muslims can be made into partners for peace, though they cannot be expected to build Western-style democracies.Timely and solidly grounded in experience and evidence, Hot Spots brings important foreign policy issues to the forefront of political consideration.


“Amitai Etzioni takes the reader on a tour de force of the world’s ‘hot spots’—from Asia in assessing China’s rise, to the long-term repercussions of the Arab Spring on the Middle East; from a European Union whose very future is in doubt, to the nooks and crannies of the new global disorder. He shows us why neat and quick solutions to the complex foreign policy issues of the twenty-first century—simply deploying drones, task forces, and Marshall plans—is not feasible, especially in this new age of austerity. But he goes on to lay out strategies that can manage and mitigate these challenges over the long haul. In contrast to other books in recent years prescribing remedies for international ills, which are quickly dated or overtaken by events, Etzioni provides a perspective that will remain relevant and useful for years to come.”

—Nikolas K. Gvosdev, senior editor, The National Interest and professor of national security affairs, US Naval War College

“Here is a book that tells us how to combine humanitarian values with a tough-minded approach to security issues. Etzioni is a liberal realist, and his sober and well-researched book never loses sight of the moral goals which should inform US foreign policy in a period of rapid change and increasing uncertainty. A must read, especially in a presidential election year.”

—Shlomo Avineri, professor of political science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem