A Common Trope Within International Relations That Is Often

1809 WordsMay 3, 20178 Pages
A common trope within international relations that is often discussed by analysts and average individuals alike, is the “inevitable” decline of American power. Delving into this trope in his book, IS THE AMERICAN CENTURY OVER?, Joseph S. NYE, JR, argues that the period of American pre-eminence in military, economic, and soft power resources is not over (116). In structuring his argument, Nye first analyzes Europe, Japan, Brazil, and India and their potential role in challenging America’s ability to maintain an international order. Then, Nye turns his attention towards China, and comparatively analyzes its military, economic, and soft power to that of the United States. Conversely, Nye explores potential American responses to China’s…show more content…
Within these terms, Nye contextualizes his argument. For example, Nye explains that though China’s economic and military power allow it to be a more of a potent threat than other challenger, it has a host of domestic issues, ranging from an underdeveloped countryside to rapid industrialization (50). Even if China were to overcome its domestic problems, which would translate to an increase in Chinese economic power, a preponderant role for China in the world economy would not equate to a Chinese hegemony. It’s political and military actions would still have to account for the United States. Through dissecting how any economic advantage China has over America is negligible, as it comes at a price for it as well, Nye makes the argument that interdependence constrains China into working with America in maintaining the international order, rather than working against it. As the United States derives power from the dollar, much has been said about China’s massive holding of dollars, and how it could potentially use it as a bargaining chip in its relationship with the United States. However, Nye claims that in the interdependent relationship between the nations, power depends on asymmetries in interdependence (54). Thus, if China were to dump its dollars on world financial markets, it could bring America to its knees, but it would also bring
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