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Trump is not proposing an end to American hegemony. Rather, he seeks a change in how the US exercises leadership and a consequent shift in international and regional orders. If your primary beef with American hegemony has been its hypocrisy—its failure to live up to its rhetoric about liberal order—then Trump wants to solve your problem: by making the order less liberal.

America’s strategic position—its hegemonic leadership—is not a story about a colossus striding the world on its own two feet. It’s a function of the strength of its strategic partnerships and core allies. The post-1992 order—for good or for ill—was very much a collective achievement. On its own, the United States is much less impressive than discussions of “unipolarity,” or the fantasies of certain flavors of nationalists, would have you believe.

The immediate consequence of the rise of China and of Russian assertiveness lies in the breaking of the ‘greater west’s’ dominance over international-order making. For good or for ill, countries now have more options about where to go for development aid, security assistance, and geopolitical support.

Because the concentration of raw power among the ‘core allies’ remains very impressive, their major problem lies in maintaining cohesion. But here they are doing very poorly, and right-wing populism (with the encouragement of Russia) is the major immediate threat. The longer-term challenge is renegotiating the bargain to reflect contemporary challenges.


part 2: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/07/american-hegemony-part-ii-liberal-order-concept-good

part 3: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/08/american-hegemony-part-iii-time-non-game-theory
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