Since end of World War II international politics has been profoundly shaped by two constants: the United States’ position as the international system’s most powerful state, and its strategic choice to be deeply engaged in the world. So constant have been American power and engagement that it’s hard to imagine the world without them. For the first time in decades, these two essential constants are being questioned by a large range of analysts. Will the US long continue to be the only superpower in the international system? And if it does continue to occupy this position, should it retain its effort to actively reshape the global environment or should it instead “come home” and pursue retrenchment? William C. Wohlforth will address these questions and argue that it is greatly decidedly premature to declare an end to US position as the only superpower in system and that the ever- growing call for the US to pursue retrenchment is misguided.
William C. Wohlforth is the Daniel Webster Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. He is the author or editor of seven books and some 60 articles and book chapters on topics ranging from the Cold War and its end to unipolarity and contemporary U.S. grand strategy. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and has served as a consultant for the National Intelligence Council and the National Bureau of Asian Research. He is currently writing a book with Stephen Brooks entitled America Abroad The United States’ Global Role in the 21st Century.
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