In 1987, Paul Kennedy set off a vigorous debate in academic and policy circles with his book, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which predicted the imminent decline of Washington’s global supremacy. Five years later Francis Fukuyama argued in The End of History and the Last Man that American values were destined to dominate the future.
This debate on the future of US power rumbled on through the ‘unipolar moment’ when America was the world’s only superpower. Now, with countries such as China and India contesting US economic dominance at a time when American foreign policy has failed to produce desired outcomes in Syria, Ukraine and Iraq, the question of America’s decline has arguably become more urgent.
Is the US in decline? Two academics go head to head
The debate on America’s future is not just academic