5 The US as global hegemon – the practice of global dominance
The 9/11 attack took place, of course, in New York and it is the US that has taken the leading role in fighting the ‘asymmetric war’ provoked (examined in sections 3 and 4). In 2001, the US occupied a position of unprecedented dominance and was aptly perceived as a unique kind of ‘global hegemon’. What this meant in terms of its capacity to exercise power on a global scale and achieve the objectives it set itself was, however, a matter of considerable practical concern and extensive intellectual debate.
This section we shall examine:
- what US hegemony has actually meant
- the response of some of its major international partners to the US’s use of its unprecedented power
- the emergence of a new kind of legitimacy crisis surrounding US global leadership
- the implications for the future of the global ‘US empire’ that emerged with the demise of the Soviet Union.