Sunday, March 29, 2009

G20: The end of global American hegemony?

At this week's G20 meeting, you can expect to see China, Russia and other less developed nations make a push for a greater say in global affairs.

From the NYTimes' Helene Cooper:

The challenges stem in part from lingering unhappiness around the world at the way the Bush administration used American power. But they have been made more intense by the sense in many capitals that the United States is no longer in any position to dictate to other nations what types of economic policies to pursue — or to impose its will more generally as it intensifies the war in Afghanistan and extracts itself from Iraq.

“There is a direct challenge under way to the paradigms that America has been trying to sell to the rest of the world,” said Eswar S. Prasad, a former China division chief at the
International Monetary Fund. The American banking collapse, which precipitated the global meltdown, has led to a fundamental rethinking of the American way as a model for the rest of the world.

The article goes on to suggest that the personal popularity of President Obama gives him some leeway in attempting to maintain American clout. Personally though, I doubt that popularity will last very long if the global economy continues on its current trajectory.

Tim White

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