The Coming Anarchy - Robert Kaplan Essay

Decent Essays
In 1994, Robert Kaplan published his essay entitled, "The Coming Anarchy." In his essay, Mr. Kaplan theorized that the region of Western Africa is becoming the “symbol of worldwide demographic, environmental, and societal stress”. He identified numerous political, social, economic, and environmental issues affecting Western Africa, which in his opinion, would lead to the demise of that African region within the next 50 years. Mr. Kaplan further theorized that nations worldwide would eventually contract the same problems occurring in Western Africa and collapse into anarchy. Mr. Kaplan’s prediction of worldwide anarchy is inaccurate, since his argument relies on broad generalizations and insufficient credible examples and sources of…show more content…
In his 1994 essay, Kaplan describes the country of Liberia as one that is war-torn, led by inexperienced rebel leaders, and has over 1 million displaced civilians. Today, Liberia has had a decade of peace, held presidential and general elections, improved its social services and infrastructure, and protected human rights. As recently as 2013, the United States and Liberia entered into an agreement to cooperate and improve Liberia’s agriculture and energy sectors. Liberia now ranks among the fastest-growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa, even though the nation is still navigating through long standing issues typical of a developing Western African nation. The ability of Liberia to rebound from its political, economic, and social issues of the past exposes a serious flaw in Kaplan’s theory, and further demonstrates the ability of the international community to self-correct.
As a region, Western Africa has recently experienced positive economic growth. The Western African economy grew at a rate of 6.9 percent during 2012, an increase over the 5.9 percent in 2011. The achieved economic growth in the sub-region was more than double the global rate, according to a report delivered at the just-ended 42nd Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Summit in the Ivory Coast. In 2012, Sierra Leone, once considered a microcosm of the upcoming anarchy by Mr.
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