FUTURE OF US HEGEMONY
Abstract. The demise of the bipolar system of international politics has revived interest in such closely related and contested terms as "superpower", "hegemon", "empire" and "imperialism". This article represents an attempt to define the most probable trend in the future evolution of the international system with regard to the role of the United States of America as the most prominent state power of today's world. This article seeks to analyse the US power posture in today's world politics by comparing its core capabilities to those of the classical empire of the previous century - the British Empire - with analytical emphasis on both the "hard power" and the "soft power" dimensions. The author maintains that the notion of US hegemony or even American Empire is still relevant despite a clear historic tendency of hegemonic decline seen throughout the second part of the 20th century. The United States still ranks high on the scale of most traditional power factors and, what is by far more important, they continue to be able to shape and control the scale and the volume of international exposure of all other major players within the framework of contemporary global international system. The relative decline of US influence upon world politics at the beginning of the new millennia has been effectively off-set by the profound change in the nature of American power which is now assuming the form of a structural dominance. The author's personal view is that US hegemony is not doomed to wane, given the enormous impact the United States have already made economically, politically and intellectually upon the post World War II international relations. The continuance of the US playing the pivotal role in the international politics of the 21st century will be dependent on the ability of the US political class to adapt to and to harness the social power of numerous non-state international actors that are due take over the leading role in the future world's politics.
Key words: US foreign policy, empire, monopolarity, hegemony, world order.
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