Managing American Hegemony

Managing American Hegemony

Essays on Power in a Time of Dominance

Author: Kori N. Schake
ISBN: 978-0-8179-4902-0
Publication Date: 7/10/2009
Pages: 208

An illuminating look at American power

In thinking about American power, says Kori Schake, the first concern is its relevance: Who cares? Does it really matter whether the United States is an empire or a colossus or merely the strongest power in the order? If we are profligate with our power, would it make any difference? In Managing American Hegemony, Schake provides an insightful look at U.S. power in the world today. Understanding why we have succeeded, she explains, is essential to making sound choices about what to sustain and how to approach the task. This book is organized around six questions:

  • Why is there such concern about U.S. power, especially from friends and allies of the United States?
  • What accounts for the United States' stunning success in the round of globalization that swept across the international order at the end of the twentieth century?
  • Are U.S. advantages enduring or transitory?
  • Is the U.S. military still dominant, and does it matter?
  • Can our alliances and international institutions be revised to better align with an extended period of hegemony?
  • On what issues should the next president focus to build an even stronger foundation of U.S. power?
Our strategic challenge will be persuading others to share the burdens of maintaining the existing order that has served us all so well. The costs are relatively low because nearly all the states in the international order voluntarily acquiesce to U.S. predominance. When they stop believing, as a few have, that U.S. power is a force for the general good, the cost of maintaining order increases. It is not enough for us to appreciate we are a beneficent hegemon: we must do better to demonstrate it to others who are not convinced.

Kori N. Schake is a Hoover Fellow and holds the Distinguished Chair in International Security Studies at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. During the 2008 presidential campaign, she was Senior Policy Advisor to John McCain. She has also worked on the National Security Council, the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Staff.


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Kori N. Schake

Kori Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. She teaches Thinking About War at Stanford, is a columnist for Foreign Policy magazine, and a contributor to War on the Rocks.

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