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Layne (2011)

¥ Unipolar era= ending because of 3 main reasons o 1. Rise of new great powers, esp China o 2. US as poster-child for strategic over extension: its military commitments exceed the resources needed to fulfil them o 3. US’ relative economic power is declining + mounting fiscal problems of dollar ¥ Concludes that Pax Americana will end within two decades (written 2011) ¥ 2 most important elements of whether new great powers are rising= relative growth rate & shares of GDP ¥ US= stuck with responsibility for maintaining stability in Europe, East Asia, and Persian gulf (cold war remnants) + in last 20 years, US has taken on Middle East, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe over stretch ¥ Ex= Britain’s hegemony ended because several powers emerged, not just one. So if looking at challenge to US from just one place, it’s not going to seem as drastic ¥ US will emerge from financial crisis with serious handicaps: increase in money supply, 1 trillion $ deficit predicted for at least a decade ¥ 2008 doubts about dollar in 2 ways: o 1. Other economic players = military rivals as well o 2. Concerns that value will diminish over time ¥ Brooks, Wohlforth, Fareed Zakaria argue that US can ‘lock in’ its power, yet Layne argues this ‘institutional lock in’ will not happen for 4 reasons o 1. US liberal preferenes got a big blow by the great repression o 2. Because the perception of the US’ hard power is declining + its soft power got a hit bc meltdown real question of US legitimacy to lead institutional reform o 3. Rising powers only need to wait +/- a decade to reconstruct world order + institutions that reflect their norms o 4. Entire post 1945 order = grounded in US military & economic preponderance, which does not hold up any longer ¥ structural weaknesses in US economy will make it impossible to maintain these high levels of milirary spending US gov’t will increasingly decide between ‘guns and butter’ for population and there will be increasing pressure from the public to decrease commitments over seas ¥ Layne argues that with the end of American primacy, the real post-USA world will enter an era of de-globalization, rising nationalism, and neo-mercantilism, geopolitical instability & great powe competition ¥ When historians will look back at end of US hegemony, they will look back on two moments o 1. August December 2008 ♣ Beijing Olympics as ‘coming out’ party for China ♣ Russian invasion Georgia ♣ Economic meltdown USA o 2. Obama’s Nov 2009 trip to China= evidence of power shift


Beckley (2012)

Argues that while hegemonic burdens of US have expanded significantly, the US has not declined Acknowledges that US military spending may have to decline, but notes that: 1. Compared to other great powers in history, the US spends little on its military – just 4% of GDP 2. America’s ability to spend on defence will continue to be much higher than China’s in the foreseeable future. This is important bc its technological superiority that matters. The biggest mistake is to draw conclusions from US-China power balance from data that compares China to its former self Declinists believe that US is suffering from a classical case of ‘hegemonic dilemma’ – especially in security, finance, and trade & that declinists associate globalization with diffusion US= ‘system maker’ & ‘privilege taker’


Ikenberry (2010)

Question: Is it a crisis of America’s position in the global system or is it a deeper world historical transition in which liberalism and the liberal international order are at risk? Argument: American liberal hegemonic order is in crisis, but it is a crisis of authority within the liberal international order and not a crisis of its underlying principle and organizational logic 4 points as to why liberal order will persist 1. International orders tended to be overthrown by wars, which is unlikely now due to nuclear weapons 2. All states have a stake in the maintenance/ continuation of the order because: 1. Participation = voluntary 2. US does not monopolize leadership 3. Rising states have different interests, therefore, unlikely that they will together form a counter regional bloc (ex= BRICS) 4. Major states have some interests in common (ex= dealing with failed states) 3 trends that challenge liberal order 1. ‘Return of multipolarity’ – need to assess: diffusion of power, rise of new poles: triggering of balancing and security competition 2. Softening or deterioration of political order in key states 3. Way in which rising states get integrated in liberal international order Conclusion: If liberal order is in crisis, it is in a crisis of success rather than failure


Xue (2012)

Rise of the different shaking the system Global problems global governance deficit in current international system (ex- Climate Change and Kyoto protocol) US is not able to tackle these issues alone


Valentino (2012)

2012 survey on foreign policy & American oversees commitments The majority of respondents are willing to forego a major increase in personal incomes to ensure the US preserves an economic advantage over China Republican respondents have a larger willingness to do so than Democrats


Clark (2009)

Gramscian approach to hegemony Legitimacy is as important as material capabilities in constituting hegemony


Mearsheimer (2010)

China’s rise cannot be peaceful States can never be certain about each other’s intentions -> think and act in ‘worst-case-scenario’


Wohlforth (1999)

Part of the group of realists who does not expect to see any challenges to the dominant position of the US “Any effort to compete directly with the US is futile, so no one tries”


Posen (2003)

US’ superior military capability gives it “command of the commons” – sea, air, and space. This is essential for hegemonic power.


Waltz (1979)

Structural realism There is a need to theorize the interaction between states independently of what happens within states, and structure is essential to this Structure is defined by 3 parts 1. Organizing principle: hierarchy exists domestically, anarchy in the international system 2. States are ‘like units’, which is not true for the international system 3. Capabilities (in material terms), are distributed across units


Mearsheimer (2001)

Between 1945-1990, world was bipolar (US and USSR). Since 1990, unipolar world led by US


Cox (2012)

US decline mostly economic Economy of US states still bigger than most rising countries Brain drain US stronger through China because neighbouring countries ask for presence Fears of rising counter part exaggerating the threat (e.g. cold war)


Ikenberry (2017)

Text in FP- “The Plot Against American Foreign Policy: Can the Liberal Order Survive?” US has begun to sabotage the order it created as Trumps “every instinct runs counter to the ideas that have underpinned the post-war international system” Trump’s challenge to the liberal order is dangerous because it comes with a casual disrespect for the norms and values of liberal democracy In return for its international order, where the US is a ‘user friendly superpower’, the US got a good deal: a world of friendly states willing to cooperate This international order was/is based on: Internationalism: The belief that the US can best advance its economic, political, and security interests by leading the order and engaging deeply with the major regions of the world US Commitment to open trade US support for multilateral rules Multicultural character of US society US has always supported community of liberal democracies Deems Abe and Merkels the new leaders of the free world John Ruggie & “Embedded liberalism”: international agreements, embedded in the Bretton Woods system, gave governments discretion to regulate their economies, allowing them to reconcile free trade with economic stability and policies aimed at ensuring full employment However, today’s liberal order has lost its embedded and protective qualities and is increasingly seen as a neoliberal project


Multipolar vs Unipolar

Multi vs Uni