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Re: u.s. unilateralism
by Richard N Hutchinson
18 February 2002 16:49 UTC
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Thanks for your comments, Warren.  One clarification, though.
I meant "realism" as in the theory, not the everyday usage.

Randall Collins has been developing a geopolitical theory for several
years now that is a variant of realist theory, and which is based on quite
different premises than world-system theory.  Collins' theory has one
major accomplishment so far -- he was one of a handful to successfully
predict the collapse of the USSR, because based on the theory, he analyzed
the USSR as overextended, a victim of imperial overstretch.

Realist theory, in general, focuses on military power as opposed to the
WST emphasis on economic exploitation.  I would say both are therefore
one-sided, and I am raising realist theory as a corrective to the faulty
predictions that seem to be coming from one-sided WST theory.

The Gramscian point (persuasion/coercion) is interesting.  But
just as the U.S. under Reagan was able to bring a huge inflow of investment
from Japan and others during the "Cold War II", the current military operations
may also lead to a strengthening of the U.S. vis a vis the "allies" and a
consequent benefit for them as the U.S. remains the "market of last
resort" for intra-core trade.  Too soon to tell how it will play out.
All I want to do is challenge any knee-jerk assumption that U.S.
assertiveness will backfire, particularly given the complete failure of
such predictions over the past 20 years.


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