US Power reflected on the global political economy Essay

1167 Words Feb 20th, 2014 5 Pages
Assignment #2

Yohanan Zemichael
PSCI 2602: A03
October 11, 2012

The framework of global political economy has evolved through a series of historical periods. For this paper, I will be comparing the overall structure and organization of the global political economy during the Bretton Woods period (1945-1975) and the Contemporary period (1975-2010). The main objective will be the United States’ projection of political power throughout these two historical periods. By comparing, the Bretton Woods period and the Contemporary period, it can be determined that the US projects its political power on the global political economy. Before understanding the role of the US in the global political economy
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This placed the US in a position to assume the responsibility of leadership. In addition, it can be seen that through the Bretton Woods system, the US used its power over the global economy to protect its own interests against those of the rest of the world (Strange, 1987). This is closely tied to Susan Strange’s theory of the US being the undisputed hegemon. Strange states that US hegemony is evident in the Bretton Woods system, because the United States dollar became the fixed backing of currencies and a reserve currency for all the member states; this ultimately gave the US unilateral control over the global economy (Strange, 1987). Consequently, this led to the collapse of the Bretton Woods System in 1971, which brought the world into economic decline. Although the Bretton Woods System did not last, through the establishment of US hegemony, it brought the development of international regimes such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) (Strange, 1987). All in all, it is clear that the Bretton Woods system was lead by America’s dominant and influential power. In comparison to the Bretton Woods period, US political power continued to be evident in the global political economy during the Contemporary period. Although the Bretton Woods period had ended, the United States still retained an enormous amount of structural power, which was reflected by