The ‘Design’ of the International System and ‘the U.S. Hegemony’ After the Collapse of the Bretton Woods’ Fixed Exchange Rate System
This chapter is organised into five sections. The first section tries to give a historic account of U.S. interests after 1945, to structure an international system that can best serve U.S. and allies' interests and needs. The second section examines the alleged 'decline' of that system and American power following the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system and the U.S. failure in Vietnam. It assesses the geopolitical and economic 'declinist' argument of U.S. power position. Section three evaluates the validity of the declinists' position with regard to the three main IR theories (Realist, Liberal, and Marxist/Gramscian). Section four briefly gives accounts of the perceived nature of U.S. power and strategy since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The conclusion draws on the arguments developed and it attempts to disclose emerging debates in the post-Cold War era.