The American Century? In Retrospect and Prospect

The American Century? In Retrospect and Prospect

The American Century? In Retrospect and Prospect

The American Century? In Retrospect and Prospect

Synopsis

Few would dispute that the United States had been the world's most influential nation since Henry Luce first popularized the notion of an "American Century" in 1941. The significance of the influence, however, remains a subject of hot debate. This collection brings together international scholars who offer differing views on American international dominance in the past century and the prospects for its continuation into this one. These range from positive assessments of the role of the United States in forging a global community and in operating as a relatively benign global hegemon to a scathing critique of Washington policymakers for failing to reverse the ethically corrosive impact of the Cold War on American diplomatic practice.

Excerpt

Challenges for United States Foreign Policy in the Twenty-first Century: Engagement and Globalization across the Pacific

Gilbert Rozman

The United States is the lone superpower and de facto leader on a globe divided by levels of development, trust in globalization, and great power rivalries. With this status comes unparalleled opportunity to shape world affairs and enormous responsibility to temper unilateral policies in order not to drive rival powers into opposition alliances or reckless acts, in a world endangered by weapons of mass destruction. To improve on the transitional decade of the 1990s in managing foreign relations, the United States must gain a deeper grasp of what motivates other powers and form a clearer consensus about how to proceed. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Northeast Asia, where public opinion in China and Russia turned more negative against the United States, and the multilateralism sought by Washington failed to gain support. Indeed, despite both amelioration of an economic rivalry with Japan and agreement on new security guidelines that boost a common strategic worldview, even bilateral ties with America's most important ally in the region failed to achieve the closeness and maturity visible in U.S. ties with Europe. Globalization in the year 2001 is accelerating as China joins the World Trade Organization (WTO); Russia under Vladimir Putin continues to rebuild central authority at home and abroad and restart economic reform; and Japan under Junichiro Koizumi—its most popular prime minister in decades—promises to realize reforms that would at last defy the resistance of vested interests. in the west Pacific, the United States must prepare itself for the challenge of engagement with other great powers, which, more than other countries, are likely to have the stature and military or economic power to make a strong case for opposing globalization or Americanization.

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