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Dr. Layne to Publish Book with Yale University Press

November 19, 2010

Yale University Press has offered a contract, including an advance in the mid-five figures, to Professor Christopher Layne to publish his forthcoming book tentatively titled After the Fall: International Politics After the Pax AmericanaAfter the Fall will:  show why U.S. hegemony is waning; show what the end of American hegemony means for international politics in the early decades of the 21st century; and examine what grand strategies of retrenchment are available to the U.S. to cope with its decline.

Professor Layne’s basic argument is that the epoch of American dominance (what international relations scholars interchangeably call “hegemony” or “primacy”) is fast drawing to a close.  The decline in U.S. power is caused by big, impersonal forces of history, and exacerbated by the United States’ own self-defeating policies.  Externally, the impact of these big historical forces is reflected in the emergence of new great powers in world politics like China and in the unprecedented shift in the center of global economic power from the Euro-Atlantic area to Asia.  Domestically, these big historical forces are evidenced in the ongoing decline in America’s relative economic power (given a boost by some dubious U.S. policy choices in the realms of domestic economic and fiscal policy, and uncritical support for globalization).  The convergence of these trends means that the U.S. will no longer be able to play the hegemonic roles it has assumed since 1945 as the geopolitical stabilizer and economic manager in world politics.  The emerging powers will resist continuing American primacy, and looming fiscal and economic constraints mean that the U.S. will not be able to afford to keep playing its hegemonic role.  The end of the Pax Americana will cause profound changes in the world politics.

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