Questions about the United States’ position of power in the 21st century are examined in depth in Managing American Hegemony: Essays on Power in a Time of Dominance, by Hoover research fellow Kori Schake (Hoover Institution Press, 2009).

Among the many compelling questions she addresses are “Why is the United States’ power so threatening?” “Is it sustainable?” “Does military force still matter?” “How can we revise current practices to reduce the U.S. cost of managing the system?” “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?”

Schake’s insightful study focuses on why U.S. power is so predominant in the international order, whether it’s likely to remain so, and how to revise current practices to reduce the U.S. cost of managing the system.

She also offers suggestions on issues the next president should focus on to build an even stronger foundation of U.S. power.

Schake writes candidly about the challenges facing the United States, noting that U.S. power as a commodity is “substantially undervalued and that the market does not yet seem to have noticed. Why is that? Partly because the short-term indicators look dicey.” Some of those indicators include the long-term slide in the might of the dollar, the rising flood of government debt, U.S. choices on responses to terrorism (which have often shocked allies), and lack of clarity about the direction for the military.

She concludes that the United States has succeeded internationally for reasons deeply rooted in the political culture of the country, namely, tolerance of risk and failure, veneration of individual initiative, encouragement of immigration, fewer constraints on social and economic mobility than most other countries, and—critically—a malleable, absorptive definition of itself.

Kori N. Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Distinguished Professor of International Security Studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. 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. During the 2008 presidential campaign, she was senior policy adviser to John McCain.

Managing American Hegemony: Essays of Power In a Time of Dominance
by Kori N. Schake
Hoover Institution Press

ISBN-978-0-8179-4901-3   $25.00   cloth
ISBN-978-0-8179-4902-3   $15.00   paper
188 pages April 2009
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