The Curve of American Power

Published in New Left Review, NLR 40, July-August 2006, pp. 77-94

Since the end of the Second World War, the geopolitics of the world-system has traversed three different phases. From 1945 till ca. 1970 the us hegemony exercised unquestioned hegemony in the world-system. The period from 1970 to 2001 was a time in which American hegemony began to decline, but the extent of its decline was limited by the strategy that the us evolved to delay and minimize the effects of its loss of ascendancy. In the period since 2001, the us has sought to recuperate its standing by more unilateralist policies, which have, however, boomeranged—indeed actually accelerating the speed and depth of its decline.

Read full article as PDF