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The National InterestStarting from an analogy with Rome, James describes the mounting domestic tensions that increasingly threaten the global system and an interconnected world. . . . The greater challenge to the international order may lie in the tensions within, rather than between, states, as James suggests. . . . Like Rome . . . the American-led global order faces problems created primarily by its own internal dynamics. What James calls the 'Roman dilemma' arises from the fact that the way in which peaceful commerce produces a stable, prosperous and integrated global order also creates undercurrents of conflict. A vicious circle thus leads the liberal, commercial world order to subvert and destroy itself.
— William Anthony Hay