Share this

American Power after the Financial Crisis, Jonathan Kirshner

Reviewed by Benjamin J. Cohen

BUY

 

It is always a pleasure to read something by Jonathan Kirshner. His style is lucid, informed, and replete with a wry sense of humor. Above all, he is emphatic. Not for Kirshner are the meek caveats of classical scholarship. His intention is to tell us what he really thinks, in as unvarnished a fashion as possible. The advantage of his approach lies in its bluntness: bold claims are permitted. The disadvantage is that it leaves room for lesser mortals to poke holes in his arguments.

With this book, Kirshner joins a long-running debate over prospects for American power in the twenty-first century. Is the geopolitical supremacy of the United States in decline? On one side are optimists who cite America’s many enduring strengths, both economic and political. Kirshner, however, places himself firmly on the side of “declinists” who see little reason to doubt that U.S. primacy is coming to an end. In his words, “U.S. relative power and influence are eroding. . . . global tides are shifting” (p. 15).

Why? For Kirshner, the turning point was the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, which he describes as “an important inflection point in the trajectory of international relations” (p. 2). He offers three central contentions. First, the crisis brought an end to what he describes as the “second U.S.

To continue reading, see options above.

More by This Author

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

Developments in Beijing

The Varieties of Collective Financial Statecraft: The BRICS and China
LESLIE ELLIOTT ARMIJO

Chinese Thinking on the South China Sea and the Future of Regional Security
FENG ZHANG

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS