Ye 05 (Min, Ph.D Candidate, Princeton University, “The U.S. Hegemony and Implication for China,” Jan 30, http://www.chinaipa.org/cpaq/v1i1/Paper_Ye.pdf, JH)
Clearly Waltz argued that the unipolarity in the wake of the Cold War was temporary. For one, nations rise and decline. The U.Srelative power will decline and it will increasingly become difficult for it to preserve unipolarity, as Robert Gilpin argued. Furthermore, other nations will come into each other’ aid to balance against the U.S, because minor states feel safer to be with other minor states. Waltz’s prediction may not hold, however, if we consider the following aspects of U.S power.First, from the aggregate power perspective, the U.S is simply too powerful for the other nations to catch up. William Wohlforth has done a comprehensive empirical study of U.S power, and concluded that U.S has enormous supremacy in all aspects of military power and almost all aspects of economic power as well, not to mention its normative and cultural powers. He also pointed out the U.S is a “benign hegemon” and it is in the world’s benefit for its presence.Similarly, Joanne Gowa observed that allies of the U.S benefited from trading with the U.S, hence it is in the nations’ interest to have an enduring U.S hegemony. Second, alliance against the U.S is unlikely and ineffective. Stephen Walt has listed the causes for alliance formation. Alliances form not to balance the biggest power but to balance against the biggest threat. Threat, in turn, is determined by (1) aggregate power, (2) geographic proximity, (3) offensive power, and (4) aggressive intention. The U.S is distant from all major powers geographically, although the most powerful nation in the world. Clearly the U.S does not demonstrate aggressive intentions against other major powers.Hence their balancing against the U.S is unlikely. Wohlforth observed that the other major powers before they balance against the U.S face counterbalancing of their own. China was perceived as a potential balancer of the U.S in many cases. Yet, China faces counterbalancing from Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Russia, and India in the Asian continent alone. Similarly, the other major powers— Russia, Japan, India, and Europe—have more difficulties dealing with their relationships than their relations with the U.S. In belief, the American hegemon not only does not face substantial balancing but serve as a balancer against others’ balancing actions.As a result, we see more “bandwagoning” with the U.S superpower rather than “balancing”.Finally, as John Ikenberry and other scholars observed, the U.S unipolarity is a hegemony based on “constitutional order”.At the end of the World War II, alongside its supremacy in power, the U.S also established the UN, IMF, World Bank, and other institutions in dealing with weapons proliferation and managing relations with allies. U.S exercise of power was self restraint through its memberships in the international institutions. Consequently, the other nations in the world can not only benefit from this constitutional order but to an extent exercise checks on the sole superpower and feel safer even in the unipolar world.