America Unrivaled: The Future of the Balance of Power / Edition 1

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American power today is without historical precedent, dominating the world system. No other nation has enjoyed such formidable advantages in military, economic, technological, cultural, and political capabilities. How stable is this unipolar American order? Will the age-old dynamic of the balance of power reemerge as the other great powers rise up to challenge American preeminence? America Unrivaled examines these questions. The experts in this volume contend that full-scale balancing in this new world order has not yet occurred. They ask if a backlash against American dominance is just around the corner, or if characteristics of the current situation alter or eliminate the entire logic of power balancing.American power poses threats, as do the likely responses to that power, the experts argue in America Unrivaled. The definition of these threats is critical to understanding future political trends and learning whether an original (and stable) world system has already come into existence. Most of the contributors agree that novel features of the American hegemony and the wider global order make an automatic return to a traditional balance of power order unlikely.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"As the US diminishes its investment in the global public good by acting unilaterally, so others may feel the sting of American power more strongly. In a telling essay by Josef Joffe, in the book edited by G. John Ikenberry, America Unrivaled, we are reminded that primacy does not come cheap, and that the price is measured not just in dollars and cents, but above all in the currency of obligation. A truly 'great' power must do more than merely deny others the reason and opportunity to challenge or balance it. . . . This book deserves to be read."—Christopher Coker, Times Literary Supplement, May 23, 2003

"This volume taps realist, liberal, and constructivist scholarship to deliver a number of competing and complementary conclusions on the potential return to traditional great power politics. . . .This is highly valuable for both its theoretical insights and relevance to current discussions on US foreign policy."—Virginia Quarterly Review, 79:3

"This book is a fine effort to take stock of the nature of the post-Cold War international system and a worthy attempt to train academic theorizing on practical concerns."—Gideon Rose, Foreign Affairs: Jan/Feb 2002.

"American Unrivaled contains the opinions of top thinkers on the critical question of how long America's unipolar power will last."—Joseph Nye, Harvard University

"John Ikenberry has assembled a fascinating collection of essays that examine how the rest of the world deals with America's dominating position in the global balance of power. The most striking feature of this impressive volume is how little agreement there is among the different authors."—John J. Mearsheimer , University of Chicago

Foreign Affairs
If there was one thing that students of international relations thought they knew, it was that power breeds resentment, resistance, and eventually balancing. When the collapse of the Soviet Union left the United States standing alone at the top of the international system, even optimists foresaw only a temporary "unipolar moment," and pessimists looked for a quick return to multipolarity. Defying all predictions, however, over the last decade the United States has gone from strength to strength. It has increased its military, economic, and political lead over other countries and cemented its position as the most powerful country not just in the current international state system but in all modern history. Moreover, although this primacy has indeed produced resentment, it has not — or at least, not yet — produced the sort of great-power balancing that international relations theorists expected. Ikenberry's excellent new collection of essays brings together some of the best minds in the field to ask, Why not? Although the authors often disagree with each other, a common theme that emerges is that the relatively restrained and liberal nature of contemporary American hegemony might make it more palatable to other countries than were previous hegemonies. Whether this is in fact the case, and, if so, whether it will survive the Bush administration's aggressive approach to foreign policy, remains to be seen. Still, this book is a fine effort to take stock of the nature of the post-Cold War international system and a worthy attempt to train academic theorizing on practical concerns.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801488023
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Series: Cornell Studies in Security Affairs Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction - G. John Ikenberry

Part I. The Durability Of Unipolarity
1. Structural Realism after the Cold War - Kenneth N. Waltz
2. Hollow Hegemony or Stable Multlpolarity? - Charles A. Kupchan
3, U.S. Strategy in a Unipolar World - William C. Wohlforth

Part II: The Management of Unipolarity
4. Keeping the World "Off Balance": Self Restraint and U.S. Foreign Policy - Stephen M. Walt
5. Defying History and Theory: The United States as the "Last Remaining Superpower" – Josef Joffe
6. Incomplete Hegemony and Security Order in the Asia-Pacific - Michael Mastandnno

Part III. The Institutions and Ideology of Unipolarity
7. Democracy, Institutions, and American Restraint - G. John Ikenberry
8. Transnational Liberalism and American Primacy; or, Benignity is in the Eye of the Beholder - John M. Owen, IV
9. U.S. Power In a Liberal Security Community - Thomas Risse

Conclusion: American Unipolarity: The Sources of Persistence and Decline - G. John Ikenberry


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