Is American Power During Decline?

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Is American Power in Decline?

The debate on American power is a complex, yet interesting argument. This essay will discuss and define power through American military and economic aspects. These are key elements that define how much power a nation holds, as military and economic superiority allows a state to intimidate, persuade, and facilitate its own agenda. Both Cox and Williams have argued the debate on US power, and therefore their work features in this essay. I will discuss both articles in depth before coming to the conclusion that American power is in decline, and has been since 1991 at the end of the Cold War.

This essay argues that 1991 was the peak of American power. The Berlin wall had fallen in 1989, and then the USSR had disbanded in 1991, making the US the only superpower in the world. In 1991 America had military and financial power of that other nations could only dream of. Cox then argues that American power declined from that point because nations have a finite lifespan. As a realist he argued that all great nations go into decline and no matter how “singular and exceptional a powerful nations qualities might be, it cannot, for ever, determine the way in which the international system operates”. Williams reviewed Cox and almost instantly argued against his theory. Cox states the traditional realist view of a rise and fall of national power, but Williams argues a more liberal view, that American power, while not being as dominant, is still a
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