Parag Khanna

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Parag Khanna
Parag Khanna (6856923986).jpg
Parag Khanna, 15 March 2012
Born (1977-07-27) 27 July 1977 (age 40)
Kanpur, India
Occupation Author, analyst, global theorist, advisor
Residence Singapore
Nationality American
Spouse Ayesha Khanna[1]
Children 2

Parag Khanna (born 27 July 1977) is an Indian-American international relations expert and best-selling author. He is a CNN Global Contributor[3] and Senior Research Fellow in the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy[4] at the National University of Singapore. He is also the Managing Partner of Hybrid Reality,[8] a geostrategic advisory firm, and Co-Founder & CEO of Factotum,[9] a boutique content strategy agency.


Khanna was born in Kanpur, India. His childhood was spent between India and the United Arab Emirates before his family moved to New York City. For his final year at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, New York, Khanna moved to Flensburg, Germany, as an exchanged student and attended the Altes Gymnasium, where he completed the requirements for an Abitur degree.

Khanna attended the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, earning a Bachelor of Science in International Affairs in 1999 and a minor degree in Philosophy from Georgetown’s College of Arts & Sciences. He also earned a Master of Arts in Security Studies from Georgetown in 2005.[10] In 2010, he received his PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics.[11]


The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order[edit]

Khanna's first book was The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order,[12] published by Random House in 2008 (ISBN 1-4000-6508-9). It was an international bestseller and translated into more than twenty languages. The book was serialized as a cover story for the New York Times Magazine titled "Waving Goodbye to Hegemony."[13] It became a globally debated issue and could be said to be one of the most influential essays since the end of the Cold War. The paperback edition released in 2009 carried the subtitle "How Emerging Powers are Redefining Global Competition in the 21st Century."

Khanna traveled to more than 40 countries to research The Second World. In the book, he coins the term "geopolitical marketplace" to refer to the dynamic where the superpowers (US, EU and China) compete for the influence in emerging markets that he refers to as "second world," which are pivotal regions in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and East Asia. Countries in the second world, like Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and many others simultaneously have both first world and third world characteristics. They engage in multi-alignment vis-a-vis the US, EU, and China to gain maximum diplomatic leverage. The book’s style is a mix of narrative reportage and grand strategy analysis.

How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance[edit]

In 2011, Khanna's sequel to The Second World was published by Random House (ISBN 1-4000-6827-4). Titled How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance.[14] The book argues that the international system is entering a "new Middle Ages" in two respects: It is multi-polar and multi-civilizational as was the world system approximately one thousand years ago, and also because power is fragmented across empires, nations, city-states, companies, non-state groups and other actors. Khanna advances the notion of "mega-diplomacy" among these diverse players to tackle global challenges from terrorism to climate change. The book contributes to the field of global governance.

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization[edit]

A completion of Khanna's trilogy on world order was published by Penguin Random House in April 2016, titled Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization.[15]Connectography argues that global transportation, energy and communications infrastructures and the supply chains they facilitate, particularly among megacities, are forging a global network civilization with complex power dynamics.

Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization[edit]

Parag Khanna, together with Ayesha Khanna, is the co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization, published by TED Books in 2012 (ISBN 9781937382162)[16] In the tradition of futurist couple Alvin Toffler & Heidi Toffler, the Khannas describe the frontier of the information revolution as the "Hybrid Age" of human-technology co-evolution. They argue that the "balance of innovation" has superseded the military "balance of power" as a measure of national potential, and that individuals should focus on building not just IQ or EQ but "TQ" (technology quotient). They conclude with a call to harness emerging technologies to bring about an equitable and sustainable Pax Technologica.


Most recently, Khanna was a Senior Research Fellow at the New America Foundation[5] in Washington, D.C., from 2002 to 2005, he was a Global Governance Fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 2000 to 2002, he worked at the World Economic Forum[7] in Geneva, Switzerland. From 1999 to 2000, he was a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

His other affiliations include Senior Fellow of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (2012–2014), Visiting Fellow at LSE IDEAS (2011–2013),[6] Senior Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (2011–2013), Distinguished Visitor at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, Distinguished Visitor at the American Academy in Berlin,[17] Next Generation Fellow of the American Assembly, Visiting Fellow at the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, Non-Resident Associate of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, and a Visiting Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.

A widely cited global intellectual, he appears frequently in media around the world such as CNN, BBC, CNBC, and Al Jazeera. His articles have appeared in major international publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, Quartz, Foreign Policy, Harper’s, BusinessWeek, The Guardian, The National Interest, McKinsey Quarterly, The American Interest, Esquire,, and Die Zeit. (No Reference For This Claim)

In 2010, he became the first video-blogger for, and from 2010 to 2012, he co-authored the Hybrid Reality blog on BigThink. From 2008 to 2009, Parag was the host of “InnerView” on MTV.

He is a contributing editor to WorldPost by Huffington Post,[18] and serves on the editorial board of the Global Policy Journal.[19] He also serves on the advisory board of Independent Diplomat and board of trustees of the New Cities Foundation.[20]

Government service[edit]

In 2007, he served as a Senior Geopolitical Advisor to US Special Operations Forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He has also been an adviser to the US National Intelligence Council's Global Trends 2030 program, which produced the "Alternative Worlds" report in 2014.[21]


In 2011, The New Republic named him one of the "Most Over-Rated Thinkers" of the year, calling one of his books a "self-congratulatory anthology of clichés and platitudes".[22] In the same magazine, Evgeny Morozov has been strongly critical of Khanna: reviewing Hybrid Reality, he described Khanna as an "intellectual impostor" possessed of "contempt for democracy and human rights", and criticised his admiration of authoritarian governments in China and Singapore.[23]


Khanna has participated in multiple TED conferences. In 2009 he gave a keynote talk at TED Global in Oxford, England on "Invisible Maps."[24] He was also a guest host of TED Global 2012, held in Edinburgh, Scotland, whose theme was "Radical Openness." He curated a session of speakers on the theme of "The Upside of Transparency" including Sanjay Pradhan, Beth Noveck, Heather Brooke, Marc Goodman and DeyanSudjic.[25] In 2016, he spoke at the main TED conference[26] held in Vancouver, Canada, on "how megacities are changing the map of the world.".[27]


Khanna was awarded the OECD Future Leaders Prize in 2002. In 2008, he was named one of Esquire's "75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century",[28] and featured in Wired magazine's "Smart List".[29]

Khanna has been honored as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum[7] and currently serves on the WEF's Global Agenda Council[30] on Geo-economics and advisory board of its Future of Urban Development Initiative. He has received research grants from the United Nations Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, and Ford Foundation.[31]

He has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute for Strategic Studies,[32] and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


  1. ^ "Parag Khanna". 
  2. ^ "Parag Khanna: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle". 
  3. ^ a b "CNN Profiles - Parag Khanna - Global Contributor". 
  4. ^ a b "Parag Khanna". National University of Singapore. 
  5. ^ a b "The Second World". New America Foundation. 
  6. ^ a b "Parag Khanna". The London School of Economics. 
  7. ^ a b c "Parag Khanna". Parag Khanna - World Economic Forum. 
  8. ^ "Leadership". Hybrid Reality. 
  9. ^ "Who We Are". Factotum. 
  10. ^ "Career Spotlight". Georgetown Alumni Online. 
  11. ^ "AFLSE Washington, DC: Speaker Series". The Alumni and Friends of the London School of Economics in the United States. 
  12. ^ Khanna, Parag (2008). The Second World: How Emerging Powers Are Redefining Global Competition in the Twenty-first Century. Random House. 
  13. ^ Khanna, Parag (January 27, 2008). "Waving Goodbye to Hegemony". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ Khanna, Parag (2011). How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance. Randon House. 
  15. ^ "Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization".  (ISBN 0812988558)
  16. ^ Khanna, Parag; Khanna, Ayesha (2012). Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (TED Books Book 15). TED Conferences. 
  17. ^ "Parag Khanna". American Academy in Berlin. 
  18. ^ "Parag Khanna". Huffington Post. 
  19. ^ "Parag Khanna". 
  20. ^ "Parag Khanna". New Cities Summit 2015. 
  21. ^ "Global Trends 2030". Office of the Director of National Intelligence. 
  22. ^ The Editors (November 3, 2011). "Over-Rated Thinkers". The New Republic. 
  23. ^ Morozov, Evgeny (2 August 2012). "The Naked and the Ted". The New Republic. Retrieved 30 June 2017. 
  24. ^ Parag Khanna maps the future of countries. YouTube. 28 September 2009. 
  25. ^ "The upside and downside of transparency: Q&A with TEDGlobal guest host Parag Khanna". TED Blog. 
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Influential People – 21st Century". Esquire. 
  29. ^ "WIRED'S FIRST-EVER SMART LIST 2008: 15 Big Thinkers Who Should Advise the Next President". Wired (Press release). 3 October 2008. 
  30. ^ "Global Agenda Council on Geo-economics 2014". World Economic Forum. 
  31. ^ "Parag Khanna" (PDF). 
  32. ^ "Understanding Geo-Economics and Strategy – Introductory Thoughts". International Institute for Strategic Studies. 

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