Barry Buzan discusses A Leader without Followers? The United States in World Politics after Bush.During the second half of the 20th century, the United States was without question an outstandingly successful leading power. It took over leadership of the West during the Second World War, and used that victory to bring Western Europe and Japan into the democratic sphere. It then led the West in the long and eventually successful struggle against the Soviet Union over whether industrial society would be organised on the principles of capitalist liberal democracy or centrally-planned totalitarianism.Since the late 1990s, however, and very sharply since 2003, the US has in many ways become the enemy of its own 20th century project. It has increasingly downgraded, or rejected altogether, its commitment to multilateralism, and turned against many of the IGOs that it was instrumental in creating. It has retreated from leadership on trade, and lost ground as the undisputed financial leader - The Global Policy Institutemoreless
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