To Build a Better World: Condoleezza Rice and Philip Zelikow Discuss Global Politics at AU

Photo by  Roman Habibzai

BY DEZIMEY KUM & ROMAN HABIBZAI

Dr. Condoleeza Rice, former U.S Secretary of State and national security advisor to the Bush administration, accompanied by a 9/11 commissioner and Professor Phillip Zelikow of the University of Virginia Miller Center, spoke on September 19 at Bender Arena about their recently published book, “To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth." 

Timed for the 13th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, To Build a Better World, is an “authoritative depiction of contemporary statecraft,” Zelikow described. “To Build a Better World should not be viewed as Cold War 2.0,” said Zelikow. The book lets readers know the strategies, negotiations, and last-minute decisions behind the dramas that changed the face of Europe — and the world forever.

Sara Teixeira, senior majoring in business administration who attended the talk said, “Condoleeza Rice is such an inspirational person and has done a lot of amazing things in her life, and I really wanted to see her speak in person.”

Photo by  Roman Habibzai

Condolezza Rice and Philip Zelikow share findings of deeply researched international history and analysis of the challenges, choices, and decisions that led to the end of the Cold War. As well as the principles and strategies that shifted a divided world into a free and more united one. As Rice said, “The book is an interactive history to help understand how the world has experienced systemic changes.”

Reporting for HerCampus, sophomore Riddhi Setty said, “Condoleeza Rice is a very empowering women. The fact that she was the first African-American U.S Secretary of State is incredible, and I feel like there is a lot we can learn from her.”

One issue the book highlights in comparing the Cold War to present day, is the ongoing confrontation with China. An excerpt from the book reads, “The question of China's challenges to the United States in so-called frontier technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and quantum computing-is more complicated.” Rice and Zelikow expound on this idea and examine the ongoing competition with China and the U.S.

Rice and Zelkikow also discuss the balance between European and nations states, and how America can maintain that right balance between other allies through “identity when it becomes married with grievance,” said Rice. “We need to step back and say what are our common identities rather than grievances or separate narratives.”

“In order to build a better world, having principles, being practical and partnerships will attract other people from other countries,” said Zelikow. "All of the changes that happened that we describe in the book are all done through a variety of partnerships with other countries. You cannot do anything in this world without partnership.”