2018
DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.12609
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Understanding American Power: Conceptual Clarity, Strategic Priorities, and the Decline Debate

Abstract: What does it mean for the United States to be powerful? The prospect of a decline in American power, especially relative to a rising China, has attracted considerable scholarly and political attention. Despite a wealth of data, disagreements persist regarding both the likely trajectory of the US‐China balance and the most effective strategy for preserving America's advantage into the future. This article locates the source of these enduring disputes in fundamental conceptual differences over the meaning of pow… Show more

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Cited by 6 publications
(2 citation statements)
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“…Its lack of ‘potent soft‐power sources’ also makes it no match for either the Third Reich or the USSR, which in every sense constituted competing alternatives in their respective eras (Nye, 2015, p. 68). Far from having achieved parity with the USA in terms of relational capabilities – posing competing and more accurate understanding of what it means to be powerful (Quinn & Kitchen, 2019) – China, as Kitchen and Cox (2019) contend, ‘will remain a rule‐taker’ unless a new ‘world‐making moment’ befalls that equips it with the requisite structural power to wrest international leadership from the USA.…”
Section: The Limits To China's Peaceful Risementioning
confidence: 99%
“…Its lack of ‘potent soft‐power sources’ also makes it no match for either the Third Reich or the USSR, which in every sense constituted competing alternatives in their respective eras (Nye, 2015, p. 68). Far from having achieved parity with the USA in terms of relational capabilities – posing competing and more accurate understanding of what it means to be powerful (Quinn & Kitchen, 2019) – China, as Kitchen and Cox (2019) contend, ‘will remain a rule‐taker’ unless a new ‘world‐making moment’ befalls that equips it with the requisite structural power to wrest international leadership from the USA.…”
Section: The Limits To China's Peaceful Risementioning
confidence: 99%
“…In the decade since the Great Recession, however, there have been an extraordinary series of debates about the precise distribution of power. Scholars and commentators have fiercely debated the relative power of the USA and China (Allan et al, 2018; Khong, 2019; Kitchen and Cox, 2019; Quinn and Kitchen, 2019). Some argue that the 2008 financial crisis did not dislodge the USA as the most powerful actor in the world (Beckley, 2018; Brooks and Wohlforth, 2015/2016; Drezner, 2014); others argue that it is now China (Kirshner, 2014; Layne, 2018).…”
Section: Power and Ir Theorymentioning
confidence: 99%