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265 - Week 11 – Lecture 1 – the Hegemon.docx

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Sociology (Arts)
SOCI 265
John Anthony Hall

Week 11 – Lecture 1 – 11/11/2013 Sociology 265 – War, States and Social Change The Hegemon (the USA) Last section of the course – state of the world’s political economy now, esp. re. war and peace HST = 1 liberal state provides rules: pax Americana = people say that this follows a pax Britannica - 1 other thing re. the theory = says that ‘hell is other▯pdecline is other people = argument of Kindelberger and Gilpin brings no rewards o spend more money on defence than others = too many people in defence rather than domestic industries  driven to decline by putting top intellectual talent in defence industries rather than hight-tech developing industries and too much money in weapons 1945 – the USAjoined both WW’s late  advantage: it was not exhausted by war = only WW2 that revives theAmerican economy as it becomes infinitely larger with complete use of resources which means that Keynesian economics can apply - no internal destruction of the continental ▯Si.e. not Germany or Belgium o USAemerges with 50% of total world product in 1945 (measuring product is difficult: what measures GDP is highly arbitrary) and in 1945 it is an enormous industrial power  It exerts its power in 1945 in a brutal capacity = e.g. in New Hampshire with the creation of a world monetary system w. Keynes vs. Harry Dexter White (Soviet spy!) • Keynes makes a fool of himself since he has no power = ‘they’ve got all the money, we’ve got all the brains’but in actuality he was totally outmanouevered  World Monetary System = based on the dollar with the pure system w. the dollar backed by gold only lasted for a few decades but means that all currency • Means that the US has lower interest rates and all world commodities are done in dollars o In moments of crisis, one can print currency since they are the world’s central bank (French call it the world exorbitant privilege) - Concessions = takes power away from Britain but before this can truly happen the Cold War occurs  let there be embedded liberalism because they want European allies o Inevitable that some ofAmerica’s strength will wane because of war destruction to Germany and Russia etc. but it obvs remains powerful 1986 – Paul Kennedy: ‘the Rise and Decline of Great Powers’=America is bound to decline in the way that Britain declined - key changes post-1945: 1971 – Nixon and his Treasury Secretary, they take the USAoff gold o the dollar is now a floating currency = a sign of change; slightAmerican weakness perhaps?  Occurs because, in the late 1960s, the USAdeals with the War in Vietnam (expensive – the Korean War before it) as well as LBJ’s series of social programmes based on civil rights e.g. Medicaid, Great Society Programme, model cities etc. • The USAstarted to borrow money in large sums (printing money (caused great post-war inflation causing Europeans to soak the extra treasury bonds in exchange for weapons; alongside direct borrowing from Germany as LBJ asks in 1965 at below market interest rates whilst he demands that American troop in Germany are paid for by Germans – then Saudi Arabia and eventually China do this) because – as is theAmerican way! – it was not prepared to tax itself to pay for both at the same time o At the same time, Kennedy pointed out that the americnan model of industrial production e.g. Ford w. assembly lines was seen to be in decline – e.g. Ezra Vogel: ‘Japan as Number 1’– higher standards of production, lean production, more specific to customers etc. - proved to be UNTRUE THOUGH!! o 1 - The USAwas never in the same position that Britain was = the fundamental thing is that Britain was never truly a hegemon; it never could control the other 4 great states on the continent as it was 1 power amongst others  The USAin 1945 truly controlled the world monetary system = its voice in the IMF and World Bank is dominant because of the shares it had purchased  Had nuclear weapons = enormous power w. no capitalist rivals  NATO = British want theAmericans in; need 2 Germany’s, keep America in and keep the Russians out = Europeans desired an American commander of NATO = clear sense that America was dominated and providing defence o Problems Britain faced in l19thC = entirely differnet  Faced Germany which was fantastically powerful whislt they were good at fighting  1913 – Germany had the largest European economy (economic and geopolitical rival at the same time – the USAnever really had that) • USAhad Russia – geopolitical competitor but not economically • Economic rivals are allies = Europe and Japan What is power in the modern world? – guns, butter, ideology and money  The USA(e.g. at the time of Kennedy’s writing) has the guns (facing a rival in the USSR but there is no capitalist rival and offset deals see the USApaying for defence and thus expect returns); butter (in hindsight, it can be seen Japan had no challenge as there was economic mess with hindsight as the USA adapted: patents = the USAtakes most of the share of the world’s patents as it was
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