Questioning the American Hegemony

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The question of the American domination now stands at the center of international relations and their analyses. But which form of domination is it ? It is a fundamentally inter-State one, but it could translate itself either as imperialism, or as leadership, or as hegemony. The latter concept seems to suit it best, even if hegemony is by nature existential, therefore ambiguous. It implies a defensive domination policy, resting on the economy of means and on minimal involvement, without a specific focus, dedicated foremost to its own conservation. Its components are diplomatic opportunism, military superiority, and economic preponderance. Still, it is part of hegemony’s nature to be protested against. Traditional protest can be found in inter-State relations, be it either diffuse, adverse, or coming from partner States. A new, structural protest, has emerged from transnational movements, which can be translated symbolically into the dialectics of Antigone on the one side, which the NGO have chosen, and the violence of Spartacus of the other side, which international terrorism champions. But none of them seems able to reduce or get over the American hegemony, whose future, eventually, depends but on itself. – Summary AFRI-2002