However, recently, the world has witnessed the promptly rise of other new centers with significant powers such as China, Japan, and the European Union etc. , which has actually challenged the hegemonic position of the United States in international system. In the 2011 summer issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Political Science, we read that it is “a common theme” that the United States, which “only a few years ago was hailed to stride the world as a colossus with unparalleled power and unmatched appeal is in decline, ominously facing the prospect of its final decay.
So, one question has been raised is whether the United States can retain its leading role or is a hegemony in decline. Much attention has been paid to this problem, some may argue that the country is still and always the most powerful and influential leader in the world. Or if there is any signal of going down, it’s unchangeable. This paper, however, is to provide an opposite idea that the United States is a hegemony in decline due to some major problems which are going to be discussed in the following parts. The United States as a hegemony The term “hegemony’ is essentially synonymous with leadership.
It derives from a Greek word (hegemonic) that translates simply as “dominance over”, or in another word, it means the political, economic, ideological or cultural power exerted by a dominant group over other groups, regardless of the explicit consent of the latter. It represents the most powerful status of a nation in the international system. “Hegemony” is the state which exercises hegemony. By the time World War II ended in 1945, the United States had indeed ascended to a position of global primacy, then it became a true superpower in various areas.
Taking its military strength as an example, by that time the United States was the only possessor of atomic bombs until 1949. In addition, in term of economics, the country controlled well over half of the world economic products, three quarters of all world’s plane and the majority of the world’s financial reserves. However, the United States’ power Just officially entered the “unpopular moment” in 1991 with the demise of the USSR. Since then, the US began to promote its hegemonic dominance in the world, for example, by the ideas and strategies of the Use’s leaders. Firstly, President George W.
H. Bush defined the concept new world order” in his speech of September 1 lath 1990, and Clinton reasserted US hegemonic power in decline By pediatric American hegemony and intensified globalization, then Beam’s foreign policy strategy which was stated in 2010 National Security Strategy, targets to reaffirm the US leadership in a changing world where there’s always the presence of American power’s challenger. From this point onward, the power and pervasive influence of the United States is now the defining feature of world affairs. Its supreme power as a top leadership is undeniable.
The military and economic strengths are the most monumental evidences in order to demonstrate the US hegemonic power in international system. Regarding military, the US defense budget has been always the largest military spender. In 2010, it spent nearly $700 billion on military, accounting for 43 per cent of the entire global military spending. As stated by Dry. Mark Sheets, a faculty member of Geneva Centre for security policy, in his paper “US hegemony and globalization” (2006), one American aircraft carrier battle group can project more force than most of the world’s armies put together.
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier “US Enterprise” is as high as a 25-story building. It has a crew of 5,600, with 85 combat aircraft, and can travel halfway around the world in two weeks, etc. There is no equivalent in the world to its concentration of offensive military power. Economically, the United States economy produces over 30 per cent of total world product. Some 70 per cent of all Nobel laureates in the sciences, economics, and medicine conduct their research in America. The United States alone accounts for roughly 50 percent of all Internet traffic.
The world’s leading firms in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology are American. American universities are the new of the Earth, and American language, films, and culture permeate the globe. A decline in the United States hegemonic power According to power transition theory which is relative new, it stated that power is never fixed in the international system. Great power rises and falls anytime and it rarely lasts forever and wars can destroy or create great powers.
More specifically, in line with hegemonic stability theory, which is unique to leading actors like the United States, a world leader can only maintain the ability to ensure international stability for a limited time (approximately 70 to 100 years). At the end of that period, the world leader experiences a process of hegemonic decline. When discussing decline, it is necessary to distinguish between the analytically distinct kinds of decline a state may experience. On one hand, there is absolute decline – the result an America that’s essentially incapable of defending its national security and vital interests.
However, states die quite rarely. Yugoslavia and many failed states may have experienced absolute decline, or the utter collapse of government (and perhaps even national identity), but one would be hard-pressed to make a case that the US is on he verge of total collapse. On the other hand, there is relative decline, which is a markedly different process. States experience relative decline when they fail to compete with their neighbors, or otherwise fall behind in important areas of competition due to both the internal and external factors.
So, in spite of occupying a predominant role in the current international system with economic and military preponderance as well as enormous soft power, the US hegemonic power, in fact, has experienced a relative decline inasmuch the following mainstream indications. In the very first year of 21st century, the U. S. Faced a major security threat from non- state actors manifest in the 9/1 1 terrorist attacks, which completely changed Americans’ traditional view of their homeland as a safe haven. Following the attacks, the Bush administration launched its global war on terrorism.