International Politics Reviews

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 61–71 | Cite as

Handcuffing the hegemon: The paradox of state power under unipolarity

  • Austin J Knuppe
Review Article


The exercise of state power in global politics often involves a vexing paradox: strategies intended to create or project power may end up reducing it. Under unipolarity, the lack of structural constraints in the international system do as much to undermine hegemonic power as to magnify it. Through an examination of the structure and process of unipolar politics, the three works reviewed in this article investigate the unintended consequences of preponderant power, especially as it relates to American grand strategy. As such, the paradox of state power has direct implications for the durability and relative peacefulness of the unipolar politics.


paradox of power structural realism American grand strategy hegemony primacy 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Austin J Knuppe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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