The United States As Powers Within The International System

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Although the United States remains the world’s lone superpower, it is no longer a hyperpower that can bully potential contenders. The rest of the world is catching up. A change from unipolarity to multipolarity is one could facilitate a return nations struggling for power and prestige through war. While some might say a return to this system could destroy todays relative peace amongst great powers, they are incorrect. A return to multipolarity could show us that several emerging powers will emerge to join the United States as powers within the international system. It does not tell us how multipolarity will effect international governance. The question is whether emerging powers accept or resist the western order that will exist when they…show more content…
History has shown us that dramatic changes to international power rarely unfold smoothly or peacefully. The danger of states undergoing rapid rises and declines in relative power, where one state seeks the status of a hegemon and another seeks to maintain it, is less valid than it once was. While the most destructive and influential conflicts in history have been situations where competing powers seek superiority over a rival power, the nuclear age makes power transition by means of war incredibly unlikely. As the cost of conflict between nuclear armed states would be unreasonably costly, the cycle of hegemonic-war has been broken. That leaves the question as to whether the existing international order will facilitate a smooth transition that incorporates emerging powers or one that excludes them and creates greater potential for conflict. The United States has shaped world politics with ideas such as "capitalism is better than socialism" and "democracy is better than dictatorship." However, recently, emerging non-Western powers have let it be known that they do not share the United States ' views on these issues. Bruce Jentleson and Steven Weber argue, "Outside the United States, people no longer believe that the alternative to Washington led order is chaos…. the rest of the world has no fear about experimenting with alternatives." Emerging powers such as China are willing to challenge the U.S., but largely within existing institutions rather than outside them.
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