This is rather embarassing

May 4, 2007

I’ve finally gotten around to reading Joseph Nye’s The Paradox of American Power.

Nye makes a very interesting argument, but one that I wish I had known about as late as a few months ago:

Finally, as the prior example suggests, the hub-and-spokes model may blind us to changes that are taking place in the architecture of the global networks. Network theorists argue that central players gain power most when there are structural holes–gaps in communications–between other participants. When the spokes cannot communicate with each other without going through each other, the hub becomes less powerful. The growth of the internet provides these inexpensive alternative connections that fill the gap.

For those of you that may find this post mysterious, I’ll explain by the end of this month.


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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.