Getting Hegemony Right

If it is to avoid global resentment and ward off potentially hostile coalitions, the United States must continue to ensure that others have a stake in its hegemonic system.

Issue: Spring 2001

In May 1999 the Oxford Union debated the proposition, "Resolved, the United States is a rogue state." The resolution was ultimately defeated, but around the world there is growing unease about a global order dominated by American power--power unprecedented, unrestrained and unpredictable. The unease is felt even by America's closest allies. "The United States of America today predominates on the economic level, the monetary level, on the technological level, and in the cultural area in the broadest sense of the word", French Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine observed in a speech in Paris in early 1999. "It is not comparable, in terms of power and influence, to anything known in modern history." European diplomats, following Védrine's coining of the term, have begun calling the United States a "hyperpower." During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States kept each other in check.

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