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It has become increasingly commonplace to describe the United States as hegemonic. And

yet, despite America’s dominant position at a number of levels strategic, political-economic

and ideational, there are plainly limits to US hegemony. These limits and the enduring

strengths of American hegemony are revealed quite clearly in East Asia. This paper

critically assesses a number of theories of hegemony, and argues that the concept continues

to provide a useful way of conceptualising America’s evolving relationship with East Asia.

Theories of hegemony can, with appropriate caveats, also help us to understand the limits

to Chinese and Japanese power in the region; two countries that are routinely cited as

potential hegemonic rivals.

In the 1970s and 1980s a number of observers argued that the United States had entered

a phase of irreversible decline, in which its economy would not only be overtaken by

Japan’s2 but would prove incapable of underwriting its strategic ambitions.3 Yet, by the end

of the 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the seemingly terminal demise

of socialism as an alternative to capitalism, to say nothing of the East Asian financial crisis

and the remarkable renaissance of the US economy, pessimism was replaced by triumphalism,

and expectations about the rise of Asia were eclipsed by visions of a new American

century.4 American observers and strategists routinely talked of a new ‘unipolar moment’

in which American power was set to enjoy an unrivalled, and enduring, position of

dominance at the heart of a broadly supported, stable international order.5 The new

millennium, however, has witnessed yet another reassessment of America’s position.

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  • 1 0 年前
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    將美國描述成一個霸權的說法愈來愈司空見慣。然而,儘管美國在戰略、政經和觀念等層面擁有主導地位,但對於美國的稱霸仍然存在著許多明顯的鉗制。此兩者間的對立長期以來在東亞地區是顯而易見的。本文中對若干霸權理論進行嚴格檢視,並就這些理論是否有助於美國構思其與東亞地區之間關係進展的政策來進行論證。霸權的理論輔以適當的警告,能幫助我們了解在東亞地區常被稱為美國霸權潛在對手的中、日兩國對於美國稱霸所產生的鉗制。

    在70年代和80年代的一些觀察家認為,美國已經進入一個不可逆轉的衰退階段,這不僅意謂著其經濟將被日本超越,還代表著其戰略野心將無法實踐。然而,在90年代末期,隨著蘇聯的解體和與資本主義對立的社會主義垮台、東亞金融風暴、美國經濟顯著復甦等事件接連發生,於是乎勝利主義取代了悲觀主義,對於亞洲即將崛起的預言也隨著一個嶄新強盛的美國夢而頓時變的啞然無音。美國觀察員和戰略家經常談論一個新的”單極時刻”,此刻美國的霸權正享受一種無敵的、持久的、獲得廣泛支持的,在穩定的國際秩序中位居核心的主導地位。然而,千禧年已經為又一次美國地位的重估做了歷史見證。

    2008-10-25 06:06:06 補充:

    我想改最後ㄧ句為

    然而,千禧年已經為美國地位的再次重估做了歷史見證。

    參考資料: 本人
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