Global Powers in the 21st Century
Hegemony is a term used by historians, political scientists, and international relations scholars to describe the political, economic, or military predominance and/or control of one state over others. Specifically, U.S. hegemony emerged following World War II and peaked some thirty years later. Today the world is witnessing a dramatic challenge to this post-WWII American hegemony, a circumstance that could have major implications for world and regional politics during the next half century or more.
Confronted by two rapidly ascending rivals, China and Russia, the United States finds itself engaged in an expanding global struggle to maintain its status as the pre-eminent world power. How serious are the challenges posed by Russia and China today and do they possibly represent the restructuring of the international system and the displacement of the U.S. hegemony? Moreover, how have both China and Russia successfully transformed themselves into viable political and military powers during the past thirty years and what has the United States done to preserve its position during the same period?
These questions and more will be explored in an abbreviated three week course. Throughout our discussions, an important point of emphasis will focus on how the leadership of each state impacted their nation's political, economic, and military policies and how these policies contributed to their current status.
David K. McQuilkin has taught History and Political Science at various colleges and universities for more than forty years. In 1985, he joined the Department of History and Political Science at Bridgewater College as a faculty member and department chair and retired as professor emeritus of History and Political Science in 2009.
Since then, he has taught history and political sciences courses at Blue Ridge Community College, offered numerous LLI courses through JMU, made presentations on various topics and current events to local community organizations, written book reviews, and serves as a political analyst for WHSV.
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