The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World

Anne-Marie Slaughter was the former Director of Policy Planning Staff at the Office of Secretary at the State Department. She starts off the book by challenging the reader on the traditional notions of statecraft and standard foreign policy procedures, which is mainly in person – holding conferences or convening task forces.

This book is a call upon global leaders to respond to differently to the threats today whether you are fighting disinformation, assembling an army against Al-Qaeda, or bringing concerted mayors for climate change.

She provides three main frameworks: resilience, task, and scale. She employs theories from psychology, economics, and of course, foreign policy. The tools were on “how to pursue its interest and affect the behavior of others….how to assemble coalition of nations [and] how, when, where to advance specific types of goals.”

In this era of remote work and staying connected online, her strategies made me think about how I was utilizing my own network – if I could employ some of her strategies to effectively use it to my own.

I think this book is what it does to the readers – it gives us thought experiments. As she finishes off with the section on the grand network power, she writes those who can garner the strategies in today’s world can unlock innovation and sustainable growth and can nurture our own power in the networked age.