The Lonely Superpower

The Lonely Superpower - EBSCOhost

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EBSCOhost .. 1 of 7 8/14/2006 11:34 AM Back 9 page(s) will be printed. Record: 1 Title: The Lonely Superpower. Authors: Huntington, Samuel P. 1 Source: Foreign Affairs; Mar/Apr99, Vol. 78 Issue 2, p35-49, 15p, 3bw Document Type: Article Subject Terms: *GREAT powers *INTERNATIONAL relations *INTERNATIONAL trade *WORLD politics *GOVERNMENT policy Geographic Terms: UNITED States NAICS/Industry Codes928120 International Affairs 522293 International Trade Financing Abstract: This article considers fundamental changes in global politics during the 1990s. There is now only one superpower. But that does not mean that the world is unipolar. A unipolar system would have one superpower, no significant major powers, and many minor powers. As a result, the superpower could effectively resolve important international issues alone, and no combination of other states would have the power to prevent it from doing so. Each superpower dominates a coalition of allied states and competes with the other superpower for influence among nonaligned countries. A multipolar system has several major powers of comparable strength that cooperate and compete with each other in shifting patterns. The superpower or hegemony in a unipolar system, lacking any major powers challenging it, is normally able to maintain its dominance over minor states for a long time until it is weakened by internal decay or by forces from outside the system, both of which happened to fifth-century Rome and nineteenth-century China. In a multipolar system, each state might prefer a unipolar system with itself as the single dominant power but the other major states will act to prevent that from happening, as was often the case in European politics. Author Affiliations: 1 Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University, Full Text Word Count: 5205 ISSN: 0015-7120 Accession Number: 1582019 Database: Academic Search Premier THE LONELY SUPERPOWER THE NEW DIMENSION OF POWER DURING THE past decade global politics has changed fundamentally in two ways. First, it has been substantially reconfigured along cultural and civilizational lines, as I have highlighted in the pages of this journal and documented at length in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. Second, as argued in that book, global politics is also always about power and the struggle for power, and today international relations is changing along that crucial dimension. The global structure of power in the Cold War was basically bipolar; the emerging structure is very different. There is now only one superpower. But that does not mean that the world is unipolar. A unipolar system would have one superpower, no significant major powers, and many minor powers. As a result, the superpower could effectively
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course POLI 150 taught by Professor Mosley during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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The Lonely Superpower - EBSCOhost

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