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ThesisBifröst University>Félagsvísindadeild>Lokaverkefni í félagsvísindadeild (BA)>

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/10045


Able and Willing? does the USA's action during the 2008 crisis conform to hegemonic stability theory?

September 2011

In this paper I examine how the United States of America has conformed to hegemonic
stability theory and whether it contunes to do so. The theory predicts that the hegemon
will establish multilateral institutions serving its own interest but at the same time
sacrificing resources to maintain them. I survey and establish how the theory manages to
describe previous U.S. behaviour and the international trading regimes that it either failed
to create in the Great Depression and sucessfully did after the World War Two. I take a
look at the the position the U.S. is in now vis-à-vis the trading regime it established in the
form of the WTO. My conclusion is that the U.S. had enjoyed hegemon status for a good
reason but it no longer has near unilateral control over the worlds multilateral trading
regime as is evident by the difficulty to negotiate the Doha round to a close, the
associated trading shocks unmitigated by the U.S. and its own retreat into bilateral
agreements and stiffer trade laws. The hegemonic decline seems to match the theory‘s
prediction of fading multilateral interest.


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