Is The American Century Over Analysis

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Essay Question 1: Joseph Nye’s “Is the American Century Over” that attempts to take ambiguous rhetoric regarding the “American Century”, and develop the conversation in more concrete terms. He does this because his premise is that when people aren’t fully informed of what is happening, they will either over reach and exert too much power, or under reach. This means that as a country, the United States foreign policy has the potential to be reactionary based on ambiguity. He stipulates that not only does the language and terms of thinking need to change to create cohesive and concrete terminology, but that we must also look at the complexity of foreign policy making as a multi-faceted process. Nye separates his arguments into three major themes…show more content…
in a historical context to the international arena. The discussion around the “American Century” is consistently in fluid change because the definition and criteria is inconsistent. Typically, this has been measured based on military power and the strength of our economy. However these are illustrative of a main greater concept that Nye believes defines the “American Century”: power. Nye asserts that the “American Century” can be defined as a period in time when the U.S. was the global world power. However, people tend to assign this the term hegemony, which is also a vague idea. He believes that previously people have deemed the “American Century” as beginning when America became hegemonic, however this isn’t true because America was never fully hegemonic. Nye argues that the U.S. was partly hegemonic because it maintained power within Western Europe, countries that have had like-minded values and ideas. Nye is trying to change the association of America and hegemony to primacy. This means that instead of viewing America as being able to control other states, we should view it as having had advantageous resources and influence. Nye’s argument is that it is important to view the U.S. as being preeminent globally, but not having been historically…show more content…
is in decline. Nye categorizes “decline” in two ways: relative and absolute. Relative decline is decline in how one state compares to another. Absolute decline is how a state declines within itself. There are different indications of decline that are used as a measurement. These include the political culture and level of respect for the authority of government and the faith of citizens in a government, education, and culture wars. Culture wars are the social issues that cause conflict amongst citizens, like gay marriage, gun control, and abortion. Whereas education is the most important because fewer and fewer people understand how the government works. This allows for people to over react or under react because they don’t understand what’s going on, which is one of Nye’s key
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