This Time It's Real- The End of Unipolarity and the Pax Americana.pdf

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This Time It's Real: The End of Unipolarity and the "Pax Americana" Author(s): Christopher Layne Source: International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 1 (March 2012), pp. 203-213 Published by: Wiley on behalf of The International Studies Association Stable URL: Accessed: 09-10-2018 18:15 UTC JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at The International Studies Association, Wiley are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to International Studies Quarterly This content downloaded from 134.115.5.47 on Tue, 09 Oct 2018 18:15:59 UTC All use subject to
International Studies Quarterly (2012) 56, 203-213 This Time It's Real: The End of Unipolarity and the Pax Americana Christopher Layne Texas A & M University Before the Great Recession's foreshocks in fall 2007, most American security studies scholars believed polarity - and perforce American hegemony - would be enduring features of international politics fa future. However, in the Great Recession's aftermath, it is apparent that much has changed since 200 tions of continuing unipolarity have been superseded by premonitions of American decline and ge transformation. The Great Recession has had a two-fold impact. First, it highlighted the shift of wealth - and power - from West to East, a trend illustrated by China's breathtakingly rapid rise to g status. Second, it has raised doubts about the robustness of US primacy's economic and financial u nings. This article argues that the Aunipolar moment is over, and the Pax Americana - the era of ascendancy in international politics that began in 1945 - is fast winding down. This article challenge ventional wisdom among International Relations/Security Studies scholars on three counts. First, it contrary to the claims of unipolar stability theorists, the distribution of power in the international longer is unipolar. Second, this article revisits the 1980s' debate about American decline and demon that the Great Recession has vindicated the so-called declinists of that decade. Finally, this article ta Ainstitutional lock-in argument, which holds that by strengthening the Pax Americana's legacy instit United States can perpetuate the essential elements of the international order it constructed followi War II even as the material foundations of American primacy erode. Before the Great Recession's foreshocks in the fall of 2007, most American security studies scholars believed that unipolarity - and perforce American hegemony - would be enduring features of interna- tional politics far into the future. Judging from some important recently published books and articles,

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