For many historians, a broad narrative incorporating many countries was appropriate. This page was last edited on 18 December , at See also Andrew Bacevich, American Empire: Rostow embeds this type of policy in the language of partnership particularly with Europe and balance of power rather than hegemony, avoiding the subtext of American dominance in such a relationship. This article may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with Wikipedia’s quality standards , as Should be written about imperial overstretch throughout history rather than one book about possible American imperial overstretch. Both the twin fiscal and account deficits of the United States as well as the costs of its open ended military commitments abroad, have resemblances to other overstretched empires of the past.

Smil predicts that even though the U. You are commenting using your WordPress. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Imperial overstretch , also known as Imperial overreach , is a hypothesis which suggests that an empire can extend itself beyond its ability to maintain or expand its military and economic commitments. Nouriel Roubini, a well known economist and academic, recently commented that because over half of all US Treasury bonds were owned by non residents, America faced the real possibility of losing its hegemonic dominance to its competitors, who would use this situation to their advantage. Aside from the sheer complexity of explaining the constant flux of global power dynamics, any discussion of this subject is made more challenging due to the problematic nature of what empire actually means. Maier argued that the term was so polarizing, it led to an oversimplification of the varied experiences great powers could have on the world stage.

Other works also occupy the space of American hegemony within the historiography of the Cold War.

A brief historiography of imperial overstretch and its relationship to American hegemony

Hannes Adomeit has also written about this concept, as is apparent in his similarly titled work, Imperial Overstretch: You are commenting using your Facebook account. Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia imperjal in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan.


Beyond the costs of the wars, Ferguson also warned of the forthcoming fiscal deficit that will expand as more baby boomers retire and claim Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Smil points out that perceptions in the West as well as within Russia and China themselves, ran counter to projections of how economies would develop in the Communist world. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: The idea of imperial overstretch is not new to modern overstfetch.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. See also Andrew Bacevich, American Empire: Aside from the sheer complexity of explaining the constant flux of global power dynamics, any discussion of this subject is made more challenging due to the defkne nature of what empire actually means.

The greatest threat to the United States potentially precipitating a fall into its decline is imperial overstretch.

Imperial overstretch

American hegemony and the historiography of empires in decline The idea of imperial overstretch is not new to modern history. Politics And Polemicsp.

define imperial overstretch thesis

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Like Alexis de Tocqueville, who Kennedy could claim as a predecessor, he saw an emergent bipolar world, dominated by Russia and the United States. Email required Address never made public.

define imperial overstretch thesis

The Peace of Illusions: Historian Charles Maier struggled with the definition even as he attempted to explain their relative rise or decline in his work, Among Empires.

Those who do not see the United States as threatened by imperial overstretch argue that several wars and far reaching military presence can be financially supported and are key to long overstrehch security.


The second area in which the United States is overextending is the military. Arrighi and Silver note that the conclusion of U. Eerdmans Publishing — via Google Books. Layne argues that this policy included not only suppressing the influence of the Soviet Union where it could, but also ensuring the preponderance of American influence.

define imperial overstretch thesis

Vaclav Smil has also elaborated on the unpredictability of international power dynamics, demonstrating the stark differences between the geoeconomic experiences of Russia and China in the last four decades.

Smil predicts that even though the U.

Imperial overstretch – Wikipedia

Retrieved from ” https: In light of the financial data presented, this does not seem feasible unless a drastic reduction in either the number of wars, the number of troops, or the amount the United States is borrowing to maintain these fronts is dramatically reduced.

This is not a new challenge to the study of international history, which naturally includes the interstate interactions inherent to the examination of all empires. As Giovanni Arrighi and Beverly J.

Nevertheless, this resulted in grave political liabilities that eventually contributed to the collapse of the Soviet system. Dual Citizens in Congress? Rather, the totality of those three factors cumulatively puts the United States on a path to decline.

I am happy to have finally discovered someone critical of applying Alex Tocquville. Germany in Soviet Policy from Stalin to Gorbachev. The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: