DEFINE IMPERIAL OVERSTRETCH THESIS

Essentially, his explanation is that the relative strength of these territories determines the depth of multi-polar competition for these areas, as well as whether or not they would be subject to direct rule by an imperial power. A major opponent of this view was Walt Whitman Rostow, who argued against the inevitability of this change in power dynamics. Eerdmans Publishing — via Google Books. This site uses cookies. Vaclav Smil has also elaborated on the unpredictability of international power dynamics, demonstrating the stark differences between the geoeconomic experiences of Russia and China in the last four decades. The idea of imperial overstretch is not new to modern history.

You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. You are commenting using your WordPress. The author laments that the U. This site uses cookies. Retrieved from ” https: Aside from the sheer complexity of explaining the constant flux of global power dynamics, any discussion of this subject is made more challenging due to the problematic nature of what empire actually means.

Harvard University Press,pp. Because of this policy, Layne contends that the U. Pin It on Pinterest.

Imperial overstretch

Dacia and Mesopotamia after that and could not keep the Saxons, Huns and other ‘barbarians’ out in the 4th and 5th centuries. The other major issue in any exploration of the historiography of imperial overstretch is the methodology various authors have employed to describe it.

In light of the financial data presented, this does not seem feasible unless a drastic reduction in either the number of wars, the number of troops, or the amount the United States is borrowing to maintain these fronts is dramatically reduced. Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia — in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan. Westad argues that this is particularly true within the context of U.

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A brief historiography of imperial overstretch and its relationship to American hegemony

American Ascendancy and Its Predecessors Boston: Those that disregard the economic data that indicates unsustainability often do so from a moral stand point, claiming that if the United States has the power and resources to lift up other nations, then there thesia a moral obligation to do so.

I am dffine to have finally discovered someone critical of applying Alex Tocquville. In this case, Smil states that the rapid ascendancy of China was a surprise to policymakers.

Both methods can be useful, as this essay will demonstrate, in explaining the reasons behind imperial decline. See also Andrew Bacevich, American Empire: Yale historian Paul Kennedy defines imperial overstretch as the overextension either geographically, economically, or militarily that inevitably leads to the exhaustion of vital domestic resources, decline, and fall.

Paul Kennedy’s view has been criticised from many directions, including the postmodern historiographer Hayden White[6] economic historian Niall Ferguson [7] and from Marxist writers such as Perry Anderson [ citation needed ] and Alex Callinicos. Vaclav Smil has also elaborated on the unpredictability of international power dynamics, demonstrating the stark differences between the geoeconomic experiences of Russia and China in the last four decades. It is now clear that the resultant U.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: This site uses cookies. Aside from the sheer complexity of explaining the constant flux of global power dynamics, any discussion of this subject is made more challenging due to the problematic nature of what empire actually means.

The greatest threat to the United States potentially precipitating a fall into its decline is imperial overstretch. Kennedy saw an increasingly fractured world, in which smaller political units would emerge within the vacuum of such a decline. Notes [1] Kennedy, Paul. Doyle, like Maier, also found the definition of empire challenging, and produced his own explanation to describe it.

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Imperial overstretch – Wikipedia

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define imperial overstretch thesis

Notify me of new comments via email. This is not a new challenge to the study of international history, which naturally includes the interstate interactions inherent to the examination of all empires.

The idea of imperial overstretch is not new to modern history. The problem with this approach is that these histories are open to criticism that they are too vague, and are subject to a kind of historical shorthand that misses the nuances of large dynamic shifts.

Theiss Peace of Illusions: Beyond the costs of the wars, Ferguson also warned of the forthcoming fiscal deficit that will expand as more baby boomers retire and claim Social Security and Medicare benefits.

define imperial overstretch thesis

Imperial overstretchalso known as Imperial overreachis a hypothesis which suggests that an empire can extend itself beyond its ability to maintain or expand its military and economic commitments. Hannes Adomeit has also written about this concept, as is apparent in his similarly titled work, Imperial Overstretch: McDougall interprets the United States foreign policy as seeking and supporting the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.