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POL 373 Study Guide - POL 373 Study Guide Chapter 1 United...

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POL 373 Study Guide: Chapter 1: United States in the World o Unipolar balance of power: one country—at present the US—maintains a predominant share of the economic, military, and other resources needed to advance its interests in the interstate system Is the US an ‘empire’ that exerts formal political control over the internal and external policy of another sovereign territory? If so, is US Empire desirable for other countries and the interstate system? Or is the US a hegemon—incorporates much of the world in its sphere of influence Either way US primacy is the central fact of life in dealing with world politics today o Concentration of power: US is home to less than 5% of the world’s 6.8 billion population Power derives from the global economy: US produced $14.3 trillion in goods and services, or about 1/5 of the world’s total in 2009 US holds distinction of being the world’s foremost trading state, exporting more than all other countries since WWII Degree of prominence is even greater in military realm Americans consumed nearly ¼ of the electricity worldwide in 2006 US influence has also taken form of soft power—the expression of its political and cultural values that other societies and governments ay find appealing Challenges to US Primacy: o 1. Experience of past great power and the difficulties they faced in preserving their advantages: Some see a US-dominated world as advantageous not only for the US, but also for the international system—a preponderant world, maintains stability in the international system, discouraging conflicts among regional power ad reassuring them that a peaceful prosperous global order can be achieved and preserved Less powerful states will bandwagon with the dominant power rather than challenge it b forming rival blocs “Unbalanced power, whoever yields it, is a potential danger to others” Dominant power’s strength is relation to others inevitably peaks, and then it erodes as smaller powers benefit from the leader’s technological advances, economic aid, and military protection o other problems arise and have become evident in the US —nation’s budget deficits soared as it became embroiled in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars
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These deficits, along with the national debt, grew even larger in 2008 and 2009 in response to the financial crisis 1500—featured the rise of Europe 1900—rise of US hegemony Today—“rise of the rest” o 2. Shadow of the Past: Record features burgeoning territorial growth and trade alongside the extension of domestic political rights and a vibrant multinational civil society Past US actions of US foreign policy makers have provoked anger and resentment abroad that linger today and inspire anti-American movements Importation of slaves, wars against Native American tribes, and frequent interventions in Latin America-- revealed that for all its rhetoric about freedom and justice, US advocated the survival of the fittest
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