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A leader without followers? The United States in world politics after Bush

Buzan, Barry (2008) A leader without followers? The United States in world politics after Bush. International Politics, 45 (5). pp. 554-570. ISSN 1384-5748

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Identification Number: 10.1057/ip.2008.21


This paper argues that while the US might retain the desire, and up to a point the material capacity to lead, it is likely to find itself increasingly without followers. Partly this is because the US is less accepted as a model, partly it is because of differences on specific policies, and partly it is because of the changing foundations of legitimacy in international society. The big issues likely to dominate the international agenda in the coming years are more likely to decrease than to increase the willingness of others to follow the US. The waning of US leadership is not just a consequence of the particular incompetence of the Bush administration over the last 8 years, though that has surely amplified the problem. It reflects deeper changes that make global hegemony by any single power, or even by the West collectively, decreasingly legitimate.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 Palgrave Macmillan
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Collections > United States Collection
Date Deposited: 21 May 2009 19:46
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2021 04:10

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