The Rise of the Others: Can the U.S. Stay on Top?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Can the United States still remain the leading power? Or are the rising powers in fact reshaping the international system? And if the latter, how might the United States behave under bi-/multi-polarity? While most scholars now agree that American primacy is declining, clearly, a distinction needs to be made: in the economic field this does appear to be the case, far less so in the military realm. The loss of economic predominance and, gradually, the ability to maintain a robust global deployment make it not only reasonable but imperative to rethink American grand strategy. The United States stands a better chance of remaining the leader with significant margins of power compared to its challengers if it adopts a defensive realist approach, embracing strategies like selective engagement or offshore balancing. The United States enjoys a twofold advantage compared to the rising powers: a favorable geographical setting and naval primacy. This implies it can project power from the sea to protect its vital interests and to defend regional allies. The United States should therefore: (1) narrow the geographical scope of its vital interests; (2) concentrate only on regions in which it has no one to trust; (3) while backing regional allies in command of their respective regions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Power Shift
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages34
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameGlobal Power Shift
ISSN (Print)2198-7343
ISSN (Electronic)2198-7351

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


  • Great Power
  • Hostile Takeover
  • Military Power
  • Security Council
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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