Universität Heidelberg PhilosophischeFacultät American Studies Governmentand Politics of United States DenizAlmasulu Instructor: Dr. Martin Thunert Alternative Scenarios to an US-led Global Order Afterthe dissolution of Soviet Union, the hegemony of United States were basicallyunchallenged.
Already established international organisations such as UnitedNations, Nato, World Bank, IMF etc. legitimized the power of US as a leader ofthe free world. But after series of events in last three decades the world haschanged.
Along with the globalisation and economic successes of the othercountries in several regions, starts to question the power of US, as the leaderof the world. Also US in its both internal and external affairs couldn’t showits strength as it expected. Therefore projections about the future of theunipolar world has changed with respect to the events that are occurring on adaily basis. Rise of anti-american tradition and attacks on western values suchas freedom of speech, democracy, human rights along with the inequality thatneo-liberal policies that us franchised after 80’s pushed people to ask thequestion of “Is the world in the right direction”. Other than thedissatisfactions that it brings. But in contrast some countries benefited a lotfrom the western economic and cultural approaches. Today the economic success ofcountries such as China, India, Brazil. Poses a treat to the US hegemony forsome schoolars.
In that sense, I will discuss about possible threats to theAmerican hegemony in 21st century and future of the world politicalorder. Introduction Beforewe start talking about decline of US as a hegemonic power in the world. It isnecessary to conseptualize the “Hegemony” as a term. So what hegemony means ?According to Immanuel Wallerstein hegemony means. “That situation in whichongoing rivalry between so called “great powers” is so unbalanced that onepower is truly primus inter pares; that is, one power can largely impose itsrules and its wishes in the economic, political, military, diplomatic and even culturalareas”. To that extend a hegemony can be described as dominance of a state overother states while imposing its rules own rules and conditions. But for RobertCox it is more than that. According to Robert Cox hegemony as a term reflects morethan state relations itself.
” A structure of values and understandings aboutthe nature of order in that permeates a whole system of states and non-stateentities.” Therefore we can say that a hegemonic power would bring stable andunchangeable set of values because of its nature. Inorder to understand the current status of US.
We can compare it with the oldpowers of the world. According to George Modelski there is a “cycle of hegemony”since the creation of modern international system. US as a hegemonic powercomes into the picture just after the first world war.
The industrializationand unification process in 19th century US were out of internationalaffairs. Britain at that time carried the burden of leader of the world withits colonial empire. Meanwhile US thanks to the oceans was basically untouchedand this led a rapid economic and industrial development throughout 19thcentury. With the destruction of first world war Britain lost their status ofleader of the world and replaced it with US.
US at that time both economicallyand militarily was the most powerful nation of the world. With the Great WhiteFleet US were able to control the oceans and it was the first time that USintroduced itself as the leader of the world. This dominance also continuedafter the second world war. US were able to established functioninginternational organisations and started to interfere international issues.Since then Us seems to be the most powerfull and functioning state byincreasing its legitimacy all over the world thanks to the organisaitons that Imentioned before.
But the question that most of the scholars thinks these daysis “Who are the challengers for the current US-led global order?”, “Whichnations will be able to overcome power of the US in the future?”Inthat sense, most of the scholars would argue that China will be the nextcompetitor of US-led global order. Or Russia would still be able compete withUS as it did in the cold war era. Inthis paper I will try to answer why some scholars thinks that there is acertain decline in the hegemonic power of US while some of them thinking it isjust an exaggeration.
In that sense I will divide my paper into 4 parts. In thefirst part I will focus on Non-American factors that can be perceived as athreat for US led global order. These are first the rapidly growing economies inthe context of China and India.
While doing that I will look at several perspectivessuch as realist arguments that whether these countries can challenge US bylooking at some macroeconomic and politic datas. Then I will talk about otherstates such as Russia as an ex-imperial power and non-state actors whileconsidering US policies against these actors. Second part i will focus on US inorder to understand what are its strengts and weaknesses and try to evaluatethem in the context of US hegemony. Rise of Others Inthis Section I will analyse the main two potential challengers for US-ledGlobal order which are India and China. Then in the third section I will focuson Japan, Germany along with EU, Russia and non-state actor such as terroristgroups in the middle east.
The main contenders for hegemonic status are Chinaand India since they develop their own governance tecniques and along with thathuge economic growth that they achieved last 30 years. Also, these countrieshas unique culture and values, that are contradicting western values in somesenses. In following sections I will describe advantages and disadvantages thateach of these countries have in order to become a hegemonic powerhouse againstUS. Therefore I will try to answer the question of 1) WhyChina perceived as a challenger for the US-led Global Order?2) IsIndia a Hegemonic Challenger for US?3) Howdoes non-state actor effects the US hegemony? Accordingto the BRIC’s report China and India are already in top 3 in terms of PPP. Theyboth one of the largest economies in the world and its expected to surpass USin terms of GDP in 2030.
Many scholars thinks that such growth and eventuallypose a threat to the US-led global order. Along with the economy Militarilyboth of these countries strengthen themselves. China especially pose a hugethreat with its newly acquired aircraft carries in South China sea. Accordingto Bonnie Glasser such militarialization posess huge threats to neighboringcountries since it has a extensive reserves of oil and gas (Glaser, 2012).
However India does not perceived as suchthreat because of its historical ties with Britain and functioning democracy.But as former secretary of state Condaleazza stated in 2006 such action in the regionhas to be watched (Blasko 263). These two powers in Asia in the Cold-war eraalso aligned itself from the western bloc. China as a communist country werevery close to the Soviet Union.
Also India was the leading figure ofnon-alligned movement which makes US unwilling to cooperate with it.