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The decline of US hegemonic power - Essay Example

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Introduction The international system theorists always try to explain the relations among nations and also tend to classify the world into hierarchies such as the developed, least developed, emerging and developing nations. Others classify the nations into dominant power, great powers, middle powers and small powers depending on their capabilities especially military, economic and political capacity (Tammen, 2000)…
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The decline of US hegemonic power
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Download file to see previous pages However, this theory has been under strong criticism from emerging theories such the power transition theory which views parity among a great nation which is a challenger and the dominant nation as the cause of war rather than peace and stability. According to this theory, peace can only be achieved when a greater power surpasses the dominant nation (D’Anieri, 2009). Since World War II, the US has been the dominant or hegemonic power owing to its enormous wealth and influence in the global scene. However, according to Witkopf (1997) hegemonic periods last approximately 60-90 years. So could America be on the decline owing to the fact that it has been a hegemonic power for over 60yrs? This is what this paper will try to find out. In doing so, it will utilize the levels of analysis in international system to explain the decline of US hegemonic power. These levels of analysis include the individual, state-level and system-level analysis but first, the power transition theory will be expounded further in order to understand how the international system works as opposed to the balance of power theory and levels of analysis. ...
The balance of power theory would tell us that the system would be stable as long as the strong nations are at par or are satisfied with the system. The dominant nation influences how the international system operates and makes the rules of the game (D’Anieri, 2009). For example, the US determines the rules in the system and other nations follow. However, emerging nations may feel left out of the system despite having the capability to be involved in making rules and defending their interests. As such, they challenge the status quo to get a place in running the system. This leads to war as the strong nations defend their status and stability is only achieved when parity is achieved (Wittkopf, 1997). For power transition theorists, stability is impossible when nations are at parity, meaning they have capacity and resources to fight each other. If the challenger nation which is a great power does not have the capacity to fight the dominant nation, it cannot wage war against it until such a time it will have equal power. If it gains more power than the dominant nation, then it has no business waging war against it since it has already acquired the superpower status. The danger is therefore when the transition is taking place. War is inevitable to determine who governs the international system (Tammen, 2000). Since the nations get weary after a power transition, they remain at peace for some time before thinking of engaging in conflict. The status gained after the transition does not last for long as evidenced by previous wars. Rome, Britain and Mongols were once superpowers but their power and dominance declined and US attained the status (Hamraie, 2013). The US is no exception and has ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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