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American TianxiaChinese Money, American Power and the End of History$
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Salvatore Babones

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447336808

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447336808.001.0001

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One master, one sovereign

One master, one sovereign

(p.19) 2 One master, one sovereign
American Tianxia

Salvatore Babones

Policy Press

Contrary to declinist narratives, the dominance of the United States in the contemporary world-system is increasingly solid and stable. The US economy remains vibrant, but the US benefits also from the desire of people to participate in the global economic system that has the United States at its core. The fact that the American Tianxia acts on an individual basis at least as much as on an international one massively privileges US individuals, organizations, and institutions. Others pay this price due to the network externalities gained from membership in the system. These flows counteract political entropy -- the tendency of imperial political systems to disintegrate. The American Tianxia thus does not fit the "new medievalism" model of international relations; as Vladimir Putin protests, it is a unipolar system with "one master, one sovereign." Advocates of a return to multipolarity (including Vladimir Putin) point to the rise of China as their main hope, but forecasts of China's continuing economic rise are vastly oversold.

Keywords:   Declinism, Network externalities, Individualism, Liberalism, Entropy, New medievalism, Vladimir Putin, Unipolarity, Multipolarity

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