1st Edition

A World Without Meaning The Crisis of Meaning in International Politics

By Zaki Laidi Copyright 1998

    In this provocative and incisive book, Zaki Laidi argues that as our world becomes ever larger, our ability to find meaning in it diminishes. With the end of communism came the end of the intimate alliance between power and ideology. No power in our globalised world can any longer claim to provide meaning. In despair we look back to old models (religious traditions, nationalism, ethnicity) to give us a sense of identity. But in a globalised world in a permanent state of flux, just how effective are these old certainties?

    Preface: itinerary, Introduction: the divorce of meaning and power, 1 The meaning of the Cold War, 2 The fall of the Wall: the end of the Enlightenment, 3 Out of step with time, 4 Universalism runs out of steam, 5 Europe and the crisis of meaning, 6 The loss of the link between nations, 7 Global social links (1): conflicts without identity, 8 Global social links (2): actors without a project, 9 Can Japan provide meaning?, 10 The regionalization of meaning, 11 Europe as meaning, 12 Asia, or regionalism without a goal, 13 America as a ‘social power’, Conclusion: the post Cold War, a world of its own, Notes, Bibliography, Index


    Zaki Laidi is a researcher at the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationale. He teaches at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris and at John Hopkins University in Bologna.