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 American Studies


and Politics of United States



 Instructor: Dr. Martin Thunert Alternative Scenarios to an US-led Global Order



the dissolution of Soviet Union, the hegemony of United States were basically
unchallenged. Already established international organisations such as United
Nations, Nato, World Bank, IMF etc. legitimized the power of US as a leader of
the free world. But after series of events in last three decades the world has
changed. Along with the globalisation and economic successes of the other
countries in several regions, starts to question the power of US, as the leader
of the world. Also US in its both internal and external affairs couldn’t show
its strength as it expected. Therefore projections about the future of the
unipolar world has changed with respect to the events that are occurring on a
daily basis. Rise of anti-american tradition and attacks on western values such
as freedom of speech, democracy, human rights along with the inequality that
neo-liberal policies that us franchised after 80’s pushed people to ask the
question of “Is the world in the right direction”. Other than the
dissatisfactions that it brings. But in contrast some countries benefited a lot
from the western economic and cultural approaches. Today the economic success of
countries such as China, India, Brazil. Poses a treat to the US hegemony for
some schoolars. In that sense, I will discuss about possible threats to the
American hegemony in 21st century and future of the world political




we start talking about decline of US as a hegemonic power in the world. It is
necessary to conseptualize the “Hegemony” as a term. So what hegemony means ?
According to Immanuel Wallerstein hegemony means. “That situation in which
ongoing rivalry between so called “great powers” is so unbalanced that one
power is truly primus inter pares; that is, one power can largely impose its
rules and its wishes in the economic, political, military, diplomatic and even cultural
areas”. To that extend a hegemony can be described as dominance of a state over
other states while imposing its rules own rules and conditions. But for Robert
Cox it is more than that. According to Robert Cox hegemony as a term reflects more
than state relations itself. ” A structure of values and understandings about
the nature of order in that permeates a whole system of states and non-state
entities.” Therefore we can say that a hegemonic power would bring stable and
unchangeable set of values because of its nature.

order to understand the current status of US. We can compare it with the old
powers of the world. According to George Modelski there is a “cycle of hegemony”
since the creation of modern international system. US as a hegemonic power
comes into the picture just after the first world war. The industrialization
and unification process in 19th century US were out of international
affairs. Britain at that time carried the burden of leader of the world with
its colonial empire. Meanwhile US thanks to the oceans was basically untouched
and this led a rapid economic and industrial development throughout 19th
century. With the destruction of first world war Britain lost their status of
leader of the world and replaced it with US. US at that time both economically
and militarily was the most powerful nation of the world. With the Great White
Fleet US were able to control the oceans and it was the first time that US
introduced itself as the leader of the world. This dominance also continued
after the second world war. US were able to established functioning
international organisations and started to interfere international issues.
Since then Us seems to be the most powerfull and functioning state by
increasing its legitimacy all over the world thanks to the organisaitons that I
mentioned before. But the question that most of the scholars thinks these days
is “Who are the challengers for the current US-led global order?”, “Which
nations will be able to overcome power of the US in the future?”

that sense, most of the scholars would argue that China will be the next
competitor of US-led global order. Or Russia would still be able compete with
US as it did in the cold war era.

this paper I will try to answer why some scholars thinks that there is a
certain decline in the hegemonic power of US while some of them thinking it is
just an exaggeration. In that sense I will divide my paper into 4 parts. In the
first part I will focus on Non-American factors that can be perceived as a
threat for US led global order. These are first the rapidly growing economies in
the context of China and India.While doing that I will look at several perspectives
such as realist arguments that whether these countries can challenge US by
looking at some macroeconomic and politic datas. Then I will talk about other
states such as Russia as an ex-imperial power and non-state actors while
considering US policies against these actors. Second part i will focus on US in
order to understand what are its strengts and weaknesses and try to evaluate
them in the context of US hegemony.


Rise of Others


this Section I will analyse the main two potential challengers for US-led
Global order which are India and China. Then in the third section I will focus
on Japan, Germany along with EU, Russia and non-state actor such as terrorist
groups in the middle east. The main contenders for hegemonic status are China
and India since they develop their own governance tecniques and along with that
huge economic growth that they achieved last 30 years. Also, these countries
has unique culture and values, that are contradicting western values in some
senses. In following sections I will describe advantages and disadvantages that
each of these countries have in order to become a hegemonic powerhouse against
US. Therefore I will try to answer the question of

1)      Why
China perceived as a challenger for the US-led Global Order?

2)      Is
India a Hegemonic Challenger for US?

3)      How
does non-state actor effects the US hegemony?


to the BRIC’s report China and India are already in top 3 in terms of PPP. They
both one of the largest economies in the world and its expected to surpass US
in terms of GDP in 2030. Many scholars thinks that such growth and eventually
pose a threat to the US-led global order. Along with the economy Militarily
both of these countries strengthen themselves. China especially pose a huge
threat with its newly acquired aircraft carries in South China sea. According
to Bonnie Glasser such militarialization posess huge threats to neighboring
countries since it has a extensive reserves of oil and gas (Glaser, 2012).  However India does not perceived as such
threat because of its historical ties with Britain and functioning democracy.
But as former secretary of state Condaleazza stated in 2006 such action in the region
has to be watched (Blasko 263). These two powers in Asia in the Cold-war era
also aligned itself from the western bloc. China as a communist country were
very close to the Soviet Union. Also India was the leading figure of
non-alligned movement which makes US unwilling to cooperate with it. 

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