Ian Bremmer

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Ian Bremmer
Ian Bremmer, 2014.jpg
Ian Bremmer
Born (1969-11-12) November 12, 1969 (age 45)
United States
Occupation Political scientist, author, entrepreneur
Education BA, Tulane University
MA, PhD, Stanford University

Ian Bremmer (born November 12, 1969) is an American political scientist specializing in US foreign policy, states in transition, and global political risk. He is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, a political risk research and consulting firm. As of December 2014, he is foreign affairs columnist and editor-at-large at TIME.[1] In 2013, he was named Global Research Professor at New York University.[2] Eurasia Group provides analysis and expertise about how political developments and national security dynamics move markets and shape investment environments across the globe.

Life and career[edit]

Bremmer is of Armenian and German descent.[3]

Bremmer is most widely known for advances in political risk; called the "rising guru" in the field by the Economist[4] and, more directly, bringing political science as a discipline to the financial markets.[5] In 2001, Bremmer created Wall Street's first global political risk index, now the GPRI (Global Political Risk Index). Bremmer's definition of an emerging market as "a country where politics matters at least as much as economics to the market"[6] is a standard reference in the political risk field.

Bremmer has published nine books, including the national bestsellers Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World (Portfolio, May 2012), which details risks and opportunities in a world without global leadership, and The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations (Portfolio, May 2010), which describes the global phenomenon of state capitalism and its implications for economics and politics. He also wrote The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall (Simon & Schuster, 2006), selected by The Economist as one of the best books of 2006.[7]

Bremmer is a frequent writer and commentator in the media. He is a contributor for the Financial Times A-List,[8] and writes a regular column for Reuters. He has also published articles in the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Foreign Affairs and many other publications. He appears regularly on CNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, Bloomberg Television, National Public Radio, the BBC, and other networks.

Among his professional appointments, Bremmer serves on the Presidents Council of the Near East Foundation, the Leadership Council for the Concordia Summit, and the Board of Trustees of Intelligence Squared. In 2007, he was named as a 'Young Global Leader' of the World Economic Forum, and in 2010 founded and was appointed Chair of the Forum's Global Agenda Council for Geopolitical Risk.

Bremmer received his B.A. at Tulane University, and his M.A. and PhD in political science from Stanford University in 1994. He then served on the faculty of the Hoover Institution where, at 25, he became the Institution's youngest ever National Fellow. He has held research and faculty positions at New York University (where he presently teaches), Columbia University, the EastWest Institute, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the World Policy Institute, where he has served as Senior Fellow since 1997.

Key concepts[edit]

The J-Curve[edit]

The-J-Curve blanksm.jpg

Bremmer's J curve outlines the link between a country's openness and its stability. While many countries are stable because they are open (the United States, France, Japan), others are stable because they are closed (North Korea, Cuba, Iraq under Saddam Hussein). States can travel both forward (right) and backwards (left) along this J curve, so stability and openness are never secure. The J is steeper on the left hand side, as it is easier for a leader in a failed state to create stability by closing the country than to build a civil society and establish accountable institutions; the curve is higher on the far right than left because states that prevail in opening their societies (Eastern Europe, for example) ultimately become more stable than authoritarian regimes.

State capitalism[edit]

Ian Bremmer describes state capitalism as a system in which the state dominates markets primarily for political gain. In his book, The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations (New York: Portfolio, 2010), Bremmer describes China as the primary driver for the rise of state capitalism as a challenge to the free market economies of the developed world, particularly in the aftermath of the financial crisis.[9]


Main article: G-Zero world

The term G-Zero world refers to a breakdown in global leadership brought about by a decline of Western influence and the inability of other nations to fill the void.[10][11] It is a reference to a perceived shift away from the pre-eminence of the Group of Seven industrialized countries and the expanded Group of Twenty, which includes major emerging powers like China, India, Brazil, Turkey, and others. In his book, Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World (New York: Portfolio, 2012), Bremmer explains that, in the G-Zero, no country or group of countries has the political and economic leverage to drive an international agenda or provide global public goods.[12][13]

Pivot state[edit]

Bremmer uses 'pivot state' to describe a nation that is able to build profitable relationships with multiple other major powers without becoming overly reliant on any one of them. This ability to hedge allows a pivot state to avoid capture—in terms of security or economy—at the hands of a single country. In his book, Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World (New York: Portfolio, 2012), Bremmer explains how, in a volatile G-Zero world, the ability to pivot will take on increased importance. At the opposite end of the spectrum are shadow states that are frozen within the influence of a single power. The United States' neighbors illustrate the terms very well. With significant trade ties with both the United States and Asia and formal security ties with NATO, Canada is a good example of a pivot state that is hedged against a slowdown in or conflict with any single major power. Mexico, on the other hand, is a shadow state due to its overwhelming reliance on the US economy.

Selected bibliography[edit]



Selected Essays[edit]





Ian Bremmer's research interests include:

Current appointments[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/ian-bremmer-joins-time_b236550
  2. ^ https://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2013/12/02/ian-bremmer-president-of-eurasia-group-named-nyu-global-research-professor.html
  3. ^ Thompson, Damian (September 30, 2006). "Here's how the world works". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  4. ^ "Beyond Economics". The Economist. February 10, 2011. 
  5. ^ Quinn, James (July 10, 2010). "The West Should Fear the Growth of State Capitalism". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  6. ^ Managing Risk in an Unstable World
  7. ^ "Fighting to be tops". The Economist. December 7, 2006. 
  8. ^ "The A-List". The Financial Times. June 2011. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Eurasia Group Top 10 Risks of 2011
  11. ^ Gregory Scoblete. Will Free Markets Give Way to State Capitalism?, RealClearPolitics, May 28, 2010.
  12. ^ Ian Bremmer and David Gordon.G-Zero, Foreign Policy, January 7, 2011.
  13. ^ Ian Bremmer and Nouriel Roubini. A G-Zero World, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2011.

External links[edit]

Ian Bremmer[edit]

Eurasia Group[edit]