International System and US Hegemonic Power
This paper is going to take the position that the world is not moving away from the US hegemonic power to a new system of world order. In doing so, the paper seeks to evaluate the United States with reference to parameters used to judge whether a country is super-powered or not. These parameters include military influence, economic influence, political influence as well as cultural influence.
According to Joseph, economically, the United States still maintains a top position in the whole world. The US gives a lot of aid to developing countries and other international organizations affiliated to it like the United Nations. About twenty percent of the revenue of the United Nation is contributed by the US. If this is compared to other countries that are expected to challenge the unipolar status, then one can easily say that this is far from being achieved. The government of the United States’ contribution to developing countries of Africa and Asia is higher than that of China, Japan, Russia and Britain put together.
Joshua agrees that the US economy is the largest globally. For example, just in the year 1990, the US’s Gross Domestic Product was 5.2 trillion dollars. The country is the largest exporter and importer of goods and services in the whole world courtesy of its free market economy. According to the Britton Woods Conference of 2002, the US dollar is the central global reserve currency. The US is home to many key multinational corporations. The country has tight connections with major world economies including those of the G8 and supports them through the Marshall plan. From this analysis, one can say with certainty that the US is still a very powerful economy that is not going to be matched in the near future with any other country. It is also worth noting that economic influence is very important in international relations because powerful economies use their influence to control other players in international relations.
McCormick reports that, militarily, the United States is still at the top of the game. They have the largest expenditure to the military in the whole world. Their navy is bigger than that of the top thirteen countries put together. Its air force and army can only be compared to that of the former Soviet Union. The US military has bases across the whole world; more so, in areas Southern and Eastern War Saw Pact. It has made allies with other powerful countries of Eastern Europe through NATO with nuclear weapons that cannot be matched in the whole world. The US security agency is the best globally and has links with rebel groups and security forces of third-world countries. What this implies is that the military of the United States is the best and unmatched in the whole world. Through its military, the United States is capable of influencing and pursuing its interests internationally with very minimal resistance from other international players.
Kamen argues that, politically, the United States has a lot of weight. The US has successfully been able to project itself as an ideal democracy. Unlike other countries that have claimed democracy, the United States has successfully moved from one government to another without any major issues being raised. It has retained constitutional rights of expression and speech. As a result, it has been a major advocate of democracy in the whole world. It has gone as far as helping topple governments of autocratic rulers like Saddam Hussein. The US has remained the only example of a country where democracy is not only talked about but also practiced.
Finally, the US has stood out culturally. The American lifestyle has been celebrated and copied by all citizens of the world. Through the media, both electronic and print, the American lifestyle has been emulated and projected in music, goods and services, eating habits, and food types as well as the US language have been held in high esteem. Americans are still at the top in music, TV, fashion, art, and food.
Type of system expected to emerge: Multipolarity
Political scientists have argued that the world is likely to be multi-polarized and this will challenge US superiority. Through multi-polarization, many other countries will emerge and have a lot of influence enough to challenge that the US in international relations. Countries mentioned include China, Japan, Brazil, Russia, and India. Whether this will come to pass is still subject to debate.