Discussion Post #2
Module 2: Global Power/Primacy
Power can be defined as the ability to make a person, organization or government (leader) act in
a manner that it ordinarily would not. When power is discussed among governments the word
primacy is used. Primacy simply means dominant governments; power. In Module 2, we explore
Global Primacy as discussed in chapters two, four, five and six.
The Struggle for Primacy in a Global Society, p. 15
Promoting Democracy, p. 41
Global Terrorism, p. 54 (Separate Slide Presentation)
Weapons Proliferation, p. 117 (Separate Slide Presentation)
Governments are considered powerful or having primacy based on economic stability and strength,
military power and political effectiveness. Several countries (governments) among the 200 have one or
two of the (three) power components. However, the USA is considered the unipolar power; the world’s
only superpower (hegemonic) because it currently has all of the components. For example, the USA has
the largest single economy in the world; best equipped and trained military in the world; and is the
leading democracy in a world where people prefer democratic governments.
The USA is considered to be hegemonic; having exceeding great power among the nations of the world.
The five nations (USA, United Kingdom (Britain), France, China and the former Soviet Union (Russia)
that were allies/victors in World War II were given positions of power in the international system.
Especially, the USA and Britain. Today, these five countries continue to benefit from their WWII
Immediately prior to WWII, political scientists considered power among the nations of the world to be
multipolar. Meaning the world had many super/great powers (Japan, Germany, United Kingdom and
several others). After the victory in WWII, Japan and Germany lost their primacy. Two nations/entities
emerged as the dominant powers, the USA and former Soviet Union. The world in terms of primacy
became bipolar; having two great powers. This era involved the fourth stage of Globalization discussed
in chapter one of the textbook.
In December 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved and former communist countries started the process of
becoming democracies. This process is called democratization. Since, December 1991, the USA has been
considered the unipolar power of the world. Meaning there is only one superpower in the world. The
hegemony of the USA was because in all elements of power the USA dominated the world.
The physical devastation of Europe and Japan after WWII, the dominance of the USA on the American
continent, the USA’s economic strength established during the second stage of Globalization through the
trans-Atlantic slave trade, and advancements in technology/science, were key factors that, placed the
USA in a unique position to dominate the post WWII world.
The more recent economic and military power of Russia and China has positioned those states as
challengers to USA hegemony. Globalization, with the increase in state interdependence
discussion 2 global issues