This week Lord Howell publishes his latest book Old Links New Ties : Power and Persuasion in Age of Networks.

In an international landscape, where emerging newly empowered states are projecting economic and political challenges from Asia, Africa and Latin America, countries like Britain have to redefine roles for themselves in a new order that has reshaped the world. These new roles, as envisaged by David Howell, will rely far more on connectivities and fluid networks than on geographically defined blocs. How will Britain fare in this entirely new international landscape? With power and influence shifting to the developing world, and with a growing network of hyper-connections and communications between nations, Britain is already fundamentally re-positioned. In this context, Howell presents a unique solution: engage with and re-energise the existing Commonwealth network of nations which is bound together by history and cultural connections.  Emphasizing the importance of soft power in the digital age, the author argues against the restrictions posed by traditional blocs and for the dynamism which Commonwealth linkages offer. Challenging traditionally accepted economic and political theories, Howell presents a unique new perspective on international and diplomatic relations in the twenty-first Century.

The book substantiates an argument made by the Queen in a speech three years ago that the Commonwealth is in many ways “the face of the future”. Lord Howell shows there is probably no organisation more perfectly tuned in to the complex and networked 21st-century world, arguing that it is our slavish relationship with America, allied to the automatic assumption that the British interest lies at the heart of Europe, that is outdated’. Peter Oborne Daily Telegraph

David Howell  is a former Secretary of State for Energy, Secretary of State for Transport, Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office and has served most recently as Minister for the Commonwealth in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and as Minister for International Energy Security. He is the author of several books, including Blind Victory (1986), The Edge of Now (2000) and was co-author of Out of the Energy Labyrinth (I.B.Tauris, 2007). He will be retiring from his role as BIEE president at the end of  this year.

Further information is available from the publisher’s website

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