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

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5.2 The US as hyperpower after 9/11

Activity 14 History and the hyperpower

Three years on – and after 9/11 – the tone of an argument made by Eliot Cohen (Director of the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies) was less positive. In ‘History and the Hyperpower’, Cohen stated that although the problems involved in exercising ‘imperial power’ had contributed to the development of a ‘tide of anti-Americanism’, the problems of hegemony could be mitigated by good statesmanship imbued with the qualities of prudence and the pursuit of consistent policies. At issue here is what he regarded as the post-imperial status of the US as a hyperpower. The US might not be a classical empire, but it could learn from the problems confronted by earlier imperial powers. It also needed to take account of the change in attitudes towards the US that had taken place since 9/11. Some basic lessons can be derived from the experience of classic empires. Please read the extract from Cohen’s article now.

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