Origins and Evolution of the Concept of the United States Global Leadership
The basic principles of the concept of the United States global leadership are disclosed in the paper, its initiation as a concept of world hegemony and evolution to a more moderate position taking into account the world transformational processes. The goal of the paper is to study the origins of the concept of global US leadership since the end of the 19th century and its implementation in the foreign policy of the state.
The ability of the US to make a qualitative impact on global geopolitical processes is analyzed. It is proved that the American nation is characterized by a special self-identification that verges on the feeling that the American nation is chosen by God. The US, accordingly, is perceived as a state with a special mission. It is ascertained that the aspiration of the United States to the world leadership lies in the theories of the exclusiveness of the Anglo-Saxon race, which has the right to expand and spread its own state and social system in the world. Expansion theory gained strength from the second half of the 19th century. At the same time, the constant evolution of the international system, the entrance of new actors in the world arena forced the United States to reconsider foreign policy directives and «agree» on the role of a world leader.
After the period of Bloc confrontation, in particular, at the beginning of the 21st century, the United States refuses to encroach on the role of the world hegemon and concentrates on leading the world community as «the first among equals». The course towards the achieving and preservation of world leadership was consolidated in Barack Obama's foreign policy taking into consideration the fact that the US possesses the potential of «hard power» that is able to physically control the weaker countries; it is characterized by economic power, which is the source of the general might of the state; and it is able to exert their ideological influence by using «soft power», which is based on the leader's diplomatic arsenal. Thus, it has been confirmed that the United States has never renounced the global domination, but taking into account the transformational changes in the international system, it has chosen the course towards the achieving and preservation of global leadership as a better alternative to world hegemony.
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