Connecting the World Through Infrastructure

Parag Khanna's newest book suggests remapping the world in terms of its connections rather than its borders. (3alexd/Getty Images)

Stratfor | 27 April 2016
By Jay Ogilvy

Parag Khanna contributed a column to this space earlier this month. His column was excerpted from his book, Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization, published April 19. Containing so much more than one piece could relay, the publication of Khanna's book excites me, and in this week's Global Affairs I'd like to share my enthusiasm and the reasons for it.

Khanna's content in genuinely innovative. He connects old dots in new ways, quite literally. He asks us to remap the world in terms of its connections rather than its borders. Connective infrastructure trumps separatist nationalism. The economics of supply lines moves into the foreground as politics and ideology fade into the background.

Channeling Khanna requires a form as innovative as his content. Because he is such a good writer — a master of the ringing cadence — I'll experiment in this column with a form that's different from the usual book review. Rather than trying to digest Khanna's thinking through the filter of my own pallid prose, I'll simply cut and paste his more vivid prose at some length.

My work consists not so much in interpreting Khanna as in distilling the essence of his argument. Through a process of successive titrations, I've compressed his 400 pages in a ratio that runs roughly 50-to-1 to save you, the reader, the effort of reading all 400 pages. Or, if you are as thrilled as I am by what you read here, perhaps you will be moved to buy his book and absorb its full impact. If you do, you'll see dozens of stunning maps we cannot reproduce here.

From the book, CONNECTOGRAPHY: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization, by Parag Khanna. Copyright © 2016 by Parag Khanna. Reprinted by arrangement with Random House, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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