Politics, media and war: 9/11 and its aftermaths
Politics, media and war: 9/11 and its aftermaths

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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.

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