The Rise and Fall of American Hegemony

Topics: United States, Superpower, International relations Pages: 11 (4265 words) Published: January 26, 2011
The rise and fall of US hegemony

A Review of Some Related Literature

Table of contents






Scholars like Johan Galtung, Robert Gilpin and Noam Chomsky greatly influenced the background ideas of this paper. Most of the cases the author argues come and are mostly based from the books of the said scholars. Galtung discusses most of the points that are crucial to this paper like the similar factors between empires and the current western imperialism and what the implications of these similarities are. Gilpin on the other hand, is more focused on the discussion of the theory of hegemonic stability, in which this paper will try to explain how it applies to US and its current situation. Chomsky, which is more like Galtung, discusses the key points where US might be going down from its pedestal one grave mistake at a time in which this paper also tries to be giving interpretations and predictions for the US’ future. The key ideas to this paper will be the comparison of the previous empires to the western imperialism today, the theory of hegemonic stability and the interpretations of US’ actions.  

It has been endless since people try to define what hegemony is. Hegemony are defined by different people in different perception, it is from a realist perception to a liberalist perception. Hegemony is defined in the World Wide Web as a “leadership" or "hegemon" for "leader". It is also a political, economic, ideological or cultural power exerted by a dominant group over other groups, regardless of the explicit consent of the latter. While initially referring to the political dominance of certain ancient Greek city-states over their neighbors, the term has come to be used in a variety of other contexts, in particular Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci's theory of cultural hegemony. The term is often mistakenly used to suggest brute power or dominance, when it is better defined as emphasizing how control is achieved through consensus not force. And further more it is a leading or paramount power great power, major power, superpower, world power, and power and is a state powerful enough to influence events throughout the world. Being a hegemon is a very great deal because states are as stated previously, the one who dominates the whole world. From the British reign to the cold war between US and USSR, the raise to hegemony had a great impact on what country today dominates which is the United States of America. During the cold war clearly, it was defined what a hegemony is a power that is based on the military capabilities which were shown by the US. However the post cold war era has changed its perception on power which was clearly demonstrated by peace talks, conferences and convention and the power of United states to influence has weaken and as everyone says everything is bound to fall like empires, however strong or weak, are bound to decline and fall. It’s what history told us and what the current situation shows us. One might argue that this couldn’t be the case. Every empire had its own time therefore, it had different situations. One cannot thoroughly compare one another if they are different in nature already. And this is the point. Every empire had its own time, situation, sets of events, people and all the other elements that were sometimes almost the same from the other empires but mostly vastly different. So is there a point to compare? This is where the discussion starts. Why does the decline of empires have common streaks of trait? What are the actions that might lead to the fall? Are there factors that might trigger this sort of trend amongst empires? Is there a fashion of the decline of empires? And if there is, are there any exceptions to this? These are the questions we seek to give answer to.  

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