The Resurgence of the West

The Resurgence of the West: How a Transatlantic Union Can Prevent War and Restore the United States and Europe

Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    The Resurgence of the West
    Book Description:

    After two centuries of ascent, the United States finds itself in economic decline. Some advise America to cure its woes alone. But the road to isolation leads inevitably to the end of U.S. leadership in the international system, warns Richard Rosecrance in this bold and novel book. Instead, Rosecrance calls for the United States to join forces with the European Union and create a transatlantic economic union. Such a U.S.-Europe community would unblock arteries of trade and investment, rejuvenate the West, and enable Western countries to deal with East Asian challenges from a position of unity and economic strength.Exploring the possibilities for such a merger, the author writes, "The European Union offers a means of creating larger units without recourse to force. A connection between Europe and North America could eventually grow into an agglomeration of states, drawing China and the East into a new network of countries. In this way East will eventually join the West." Through this great merger the author offers a positive vision of the future in which members of a tightly knit Western alliance regain economic health and attract Eastern nations to join a new and worldwide international order.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-19064-9
    Subjects: Political Science, Business, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-7)

    The problem we confront is by now familiar. The United States faces a turning point: its long rise is shifting to economic and political decline. The consequences of this decline may well be to speed up a power transition that could bring on a new world war.

    Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the United States routinely triumphed in its economic, political, and military endeavors. Victory over Great Britain in the War of Independence was followed in the mid–nineteenth century by expansion and then consolidation of the American union in the Mexican and Civil Wars. As the nation acquired...

  4. ONE The Size of States
    (pp. 8-25)

    The demand for economic and political size among states has changed over time, but not always in the same direction: the ideal size of a state has gone up and down and then up again. In the classical period from roughly 2000 B.C. to 1000 A.D., traditional monarchies and empires sought larger size. Five hundred years later, trading cities like Venice, Genoa, and then Amsterdam were content to be small so long as they could get spices, salt, and sugar from the East and West Indies. Then everything changed: first, large powers like France and Austria introduced gunpowder weapons, threatening...

  5. TWO The Rise of the East
    (pp. 26-46)

    History records continual transfers of economic and political power from one region to another. In any period, the dominant economic core has always needed the labor force and resources of the periphery to remain strong—just as the West needs the labor force of East Asia to produce its goods today. In the past, economic primacy alternated between core and periphery.

    Assisting and then ultimately vying with Spain between 1580 and 1640, the small states of Portugal and then Holland rose to become the core of the international economic system. But that power was not long retained. Dutch power gave...

  6. THREE The Decline and Resurgence of the West
    (pp. 47-84)

    The financial crisis that gripped Europe in 2008–10 was caused by decades of overexpenditure on social services (extra-long vacations, short working weeks, overemployment in the governmental sector, early retirements) and undercollection of taxes. Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal were guilty on all counts, but the question was what to do about the problems they raised and represented. Should the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, or strong E.U. countries like Germany and France simply bail them out? Would their own electorates accept retrenchment and cuts in social services along with tax increases? Would creditor nations give the needed...

  7. FOUR The Unification of the United States and the Integration of the West
    (pp. 85-92)

    There is a pronounced correlation between rates of economic growth in the United States and its historical acquisition of new territory and resources. The thirteen colonies (states) had a small population of 2–3 million and small territorial assets—less than 400,000 square miles, whose western boundaries were not yet fully defined (figure 3). The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 doubled the size of the existing nation.

    By 1850, the thirty-one states had amassed 1.7 million square miles and 23 million citizens. In current dollar terms the GDP had risen from $10 billion in 1790 to $80 billion in 1850. The...

  8. FIVE The Trauma of Power Transition
    (pp. 93-110)

    As China rises, will the West come together in time to brush aside the prospect of conflict and possibly war? China is apparently peaceful, but there are many instances in which a rising country has fought with a leading nation. In the historical competition between rising and established powers, either the former leader has acted to derail a rising challenger, or the rising power made an assault on the established leader. Often the domestic politics of one country prompted others to take action. Sometimes a beleaguered leader gained domestic support by acting to put down a foreign threat. Britain entered...

  9. SIX Market Clusters Augment Size
    (pp. 111-133)

    Rising and declining major powers may come to blows as both maneuver to obtain greater political and economic size, the dominant objective of modern states. But it is also possible that the international marketplace could help draw the West—the United States and Europe—closer to China, just as such trends have previously linked Japan and the West. This chapter argues that economic factors can bring China and the West closer, making war less likely.

    How will this happen? America and the West achieve bigness by a greater agglomeration of the two economies. This would attract, not alienate, Beijing. As...

  10. SEVEN The Problem of China
    (pp. 134-151)

    China is the most dependent of the great powers. It has little oil, iron, or raw materials. It does not yet have indigenous capability in high technology but largely derives its industrial processes from Western and Japanese innovation. Besides industrial design, the things China needs are generally not available in its own neighborhood. Great sources of oil exist in the Middle East, six thousand miles from Chinese ports. Other raw materials like iron ore are located in Australia and Brazil, again thousands of miles away. Trade is therefore essential to Chinese security and economic welfare, and it does not appear...

  11. EIGHT Alternatives
    (pp. 152-163)

    Previous interpretive or policy approaches to the problems of East-West rivalry do not obviate the analysis provided here. Some commentators claim that the United States can cope with the economic and political-military challenges it faces without any help. Or they assert that China and the West are doomed to eventual war, or that nothing can be done but bow to China’s inevitable ascendancy and we must resign ourselves to whatever international steps the People’s Republic chooses to take. Of course, those who believe all is well and nothing need be done offer some qualifications to their conclusion. The United States...

  12. NINE How the West Attracts China and the World
    (pp. 164-176)

    There is no satisfactory definition of “the West.” It is not a purely geographic phenomenon because easterly located nations like Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa have Western institutions and religious backgrounds. If the Greenwich meridian were taken as a border between East and West, almost all of Europe would be consigned to the East: West would then be limited to the Western Hemisphere. If the possession of high-technology industry is the appropriate standard for membership in the West, the OECD (the official determiner of Western status) would, as it does, include Japan and South Korea in its number. If...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 177-190)
  14. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 191-192)
  15. Index
    (pp. 193-204)