Monday, November 05, 2012

The Durability of American Hegemony

America's Global Advantage 
Carla Norrlof, University of Toronto
Cambridge University Press, 2010

For over sixty years the United States has been the largest economy and most powerful country in the world. However, there is growing speculation that this era of hegemony is under threat as it faces huge trade deficits, a weaker currency, and stretched military resources. America's Global Advantage argues that, despite these difficulties, the US will maintain its privileged position. In this original and important contribution to a central subject in International Relations, Carla Norrlof challenges the prevailing wisdom that other states benefit more from US hegemony than the United States itself. By analysing America's structural advantages in trade, money, and security, and the ways in which these advantages reinforce one another, Norrlof shows how and why America benefits from being the dominant power in the world. Contrary to predictions of American decline, she argues that American hegemony will endure for the foreseeable future.

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction
2. The forms and consequences of hegemonic leadership
3. Cooperation under hegemony
4. International trade cooperation
5. Interactive effects between monetary and commercial power
6. The security card
7. Credible threats and regional competition.


'With insight and verve, Carla Norrlof makes a strong case for the durability of U.S. hegemony in the world economy. Incorporating security considerations as well as trade and monetary relations, her analysis represents International Political Economy at its best.'
Benjamin J. Cohen, University of California at Santa Barbara

'This is the most interesting work on hegemony and world politics for the past 10 years. Especially impressive is Chapter 6's argument that US military power has translated into the capacity of the United States to be able to command a 'security premium', that is, an ability to attract investment from abroad that it would not enjoy were it not so powerful militarily. This is likely to stir theoretical controversy and prompt important new research. A well written, sophisticated yet accessible book.'
Joseph M. Grieco, Duke University


 • Examines the relationship between U.S. military and political power, its economic success and the health of the world economy

 • Argues that neither China nor Europe is likely to replace the U.S. as the dominant economic power, despite their growing economic competition

 • Claims that America's unique place in the international system, the size of its domestic market, the role of the dollar as a reserve currency in the world economy, and U.S. military power will all protect America's hegemony

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