FIIA Lecture Series on U.S. Elections: Decline of US Power? [SEMINAR WAS CANCELLED]
Tis 23.10.2012 kl. 9:00-10:30
At the end of 2011 the US budget deficit reached .3 trillion. In the absence of dollar hegemony, this deficit would be unsustainable. Given US military spending, the reliance on the international reserve currency status of the dollar also has significant implications for US primacy and international security. Declinists argue that this Achilles’ heel of US power has become increasingly fragile and after the 2008 financial crisis, there has been a further erosion of US monetary privileges and a greater shift towards an Asian centered multipolar system. This talk examines these debates and argues that contrary to declinist accounts, the data shows that dollar hegemony not only remains strong but US monetary unipolarity has in fact increased. Why? US hegemony continues to be based on its global economic preponderance coupled with its capacity to mediate strategic relations in important dollar purchasing regions, particularly in East Asia. The US continues to possess leveraging capacity and contender states and rising powers face strong incentives to remain within a US-centric order. However, whilst the US has been able to externalize the effects of the crisis, the systemic instability inherent within the US economic model and its potential to cause economic and political 'blowback' could weaken the US over the longer term.
Doug Stokes is a Reader in International Security at the University of Kent, Canterbury. His most recent books include Global Energy Security and American Hegemony (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010) and US Foreign Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012 2nd Ed.). He is currently working on a new book provisionally entitled American Grand Strategy and the Contradictions of American Decline, due out circa 2016.
Chair: Charly Salonius-Pasternak, researcher, Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Comments: Mika Aaltola, Programme Director, Finnish Institute of International Affairs