The Devolution of American Power

The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs Vol. 37:1, Winter 2013

22 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2013

See all articles by Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni

The George Washington University

Date Written: Winter 2013


This article questions the thesis that other global powers are arising as the U.S.’s power is declining. It shows that although the U.S. is projecting less power overseas, others are not filling most of the vacuum, leading to increased IR disorder and ad hoc power combinations (“coalitions of the willing”). Moreover, some powers act in effect as U.S. regional surrogates, especially the EU. This article examines the role of China (which has much fewer global ambitions and capacities than often argued); India and Brazil (not truly big powers); and Russia (which acts like a global power).

Suggested Citation

Etzioni, Amitai, The Devolution of American Power (Winter 2013). The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs Vol. 37:1, Winter 2013. Available at SSRN:

Amitai Etzioni (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 4058
Washington, DC 20037
United States

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