Previous Year: Long Questions with Answers - US Hegemony in World Politics Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

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Q. 1. Read the following cartoon and answer the following questions :
Previous Year: Long Questions with Answers - US Hegemony in World Politics Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev
(i) What is the basic idea of this cartoon?
(ii) What does this cartoon say about the nature of hegemony ?
(iii) Mention any two examples of its structural power.
Ans. 
(i) It is the influence of dollar and the United States has the world’s largest economy, most international transactions continue to be conducted with the United States dollar, and it has remained the de facto world currency.
(ii) Nature of hegemony–hard, military expenditure, and defense mechanism.
(iii) Examples of its structural power:
(a) Global public goods.
(b) SLOCS.
(c) Internet.
(d) World trade.

Q. 2. Refer to cartoon shown in question 1 of this section and answer the following questions.
(i) W hich country in the world is having global dominance ?
(ii) Mention the Military dominance of that country in the world.
(iii) State its structural hegemony.
Ans. (i
) America in the world is having global dominance.
(ii) Military dominance–in absolute and relative terms
(a) high expenditure
(b) high budget allotment
(c) military dominance
(d) high tech mechanism
(iii) Structural hegemony
(a) Global public goods
(b) SLOCS
(c) Internet
(d) World trade

Q. 3. Describe any three operations (military actions) launched by the US which proved and established its supremacy as a Hard Power.
Ans. 
Operations launched by the US are:
(i) Operation Desert Storm : 

(a) Launched in August 1990 against Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
(b) The US led the massive coalition force of 660,000 troops from 34 countries.
(c) Iraqi forces were quickly defeated. 

(ii) Operation Infinite Reach :
(a) Ordered by US President, in 1998 against the Al-Qaeda.
(b) A series of cruise missile strikes on terrorist targets on Sudan and Afghanistan.

(iii) Operation Enduring Freedom :
(a) Response to the 9/11 attack on the US.
(b) A swift and ferocious attack against all those suspected to be behind the 9/11 attack.
(c) Al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan were targeted.

(iv) Operation Iraqi Freedom :
(a) US launched its invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
(b) More than 40 countries joined the US-led ‘coalition of the willing’.
(c) Real reason for the attack was to control the oil fields and install a regime friendly to the US.

Q. 4. Analyse the biggest three constraints that operate on American hegemony.
Ans. 
Constraints on American hegemony:
(i) Institution Architecture of the American state.
(ii) Open nature of American society.
(iii) North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
Detailed Answer: The biggest constraints to the American hegemony lies within the heart of hegemony itself. Three constraints can be identified on American power.
(a) The first constraint is the institutional architecture of the American state itself. A system of division of powers between the three branches of government places significant brakes upon the unrestrained and immoderate exercise of America’s military power by the executive branch.
(b) The second constraint on the American power is domestic in nature and originates from the open nature of American society. Although, the American mass media keep on imposing or promoting a particular perspective on domestic public opinion in the US from time to time, there is nevertheless a deep skepticism regarding the purposes and methods of government in American political culture. This factor, in the long run, may be a huge constraint on US military action overseas.
(c) The third constraint on the US may come from an international system. Perhaps it is the most important constraint.  NATO is the only organisation in the international system that could possibly moderate the exercise of American power today. The US  obviously has an enormous interest in keeping the alliance of democracies  that follow the market economies alive and therefore it is possible that its allies in the NATO will be able to moderate the exercise of US hegemony.

Q. 5. Examine any three factors responsible for the US hegemony in the world politics.
Ans. 
Three factors responsible for the US hegemony in world politics :
(i) The US Hegemony as a Hard Power— 
(a) The most important factor for the overwhelming superiority of US power is superiority of its military power. 

(b) American military dominance is both absolute and relative. In absolute terms, the US has military capabilities that can reach any point on the planet accurately, lethally and in real time. While its own forces are sheltered to the maximum extent possible from the danger of war.
(c) No other power can remotely match US military might. It spends more on its military capability than the next 12 powers combined.
(d) The military dominance of the US is not just based on higher military spending, but on the adequate gap that no power can match.

(ii) The US Hegemony as a Structural Power—
(a) Hegemony in his second sense is in the role played by the US in providing global public goods–such as the sea lanes of communications (SLOCs).
(b) The naval power of the hegemony is another reason for its structural power.
(c) The internet is the direct outcome of a US military research project that began in 1950.(d) There is not a single sector of the world economy in which an American firm does not feature in the ‘top three’ lists.

(iii) The US Hegemony as a Soft Power— 
The predominance of the US in the world today is based not only on its military power and economic powers, but also on its cultural presence.
(a) All ideas of good life and personal success, most of the dreams of individuals and societies across the globe, are dreams churned out by practices prevailing in 21st century America.
(b) America is the most powerful culture on earth. The cool pair of blue jeans is an example of it.
(c) The influence of Mc Donalds and KFC is also very visible.

Q. 6. Analyse the political impact of hegemony of the US on the world.
Ans. 
Political impacts of the US hegemony on the world:
(i) Now the international system is dominated by a sole superpower i.e. the US.
(ii) The US today spends more on its military capability from the next 12 powers combined.
(iii) Most of the other countries that are big military spenders are US friends and allies.
(iv) The US hegemony is reflected in the role played by the US in providing global public goods.
(v) SLOCs is under the control of multi-oceanic US navy. (vi) The US also accounts for 15 per cent of world trade.
(vii) World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organisation are assumed as the products of American hegemony.
(viii) The predominance of the US in the world today is also based on its cultural presence.(ix) The US is the most seductive and most powerful culture on the earth.

Q 7. What is meant by hegemony? Explain any two constraints on American power.
Ans. 
Hegemony means becoming powerful or doing something for power. It is in the form of military domination, economic power, political clout and cultural superiority.

The biggest constraints to the American hegemony lie within the heart of hegemony itself. Following are the two constraints on American power:
(i) The first constraint is the institutional architecture of the American state itself. A system of division of powers between the three branches of government places significant brakes upon the unrestrained and immoderate exercise of America’s military power by the executive branch.
(ii) The second constraint on the American power is domestic in nature and originates from the open nature of American society. Although the American mass media keep on imposing or promoting a particular perspective on domestic public opinion in the US from time to time, there is nevertheless a deep skepticism regarding the purposes and methods of government in American political culture. This factor, in the long run, may be a huge constraint on US military action overseas.

Q. 8. Explain the US hegemony as structural power, with the help of any two suitable examples.
Ans. 
Hegemony as structural power: This notion emerges from a particular understanding of the world economy. The basic idea is that an open world economy requires a hegemon or dominant power to support its creation and existence. The hegemon must possess both the ability and the desire to establish certain norms for order and must sustain the global structure. Hegemon, in this sense, is reflected in the role played by the US in providing global public goods.  The best example of global public good is sealanes of communication (SLOCs), the sea routes commonly used by merchant ships. Internet is also an example of a global public good. Internet is a direct outcome of a US military research project that began in 1950. Even today, the Internet relies on a global network of satellites, most of which are owned by the US government.

Q. 9. Give an example each of the three kinds of hegemony that are dealt with in the chapter. Do not cite examples that are in the chapter.
Ans. 
Hegemony as Hard Power: Razia was a young girl living in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. She was good in study and planning to join a course of interior designing after her school education. She lost her right leg in the year 2001 when a missile blast near her house in an American raid on Kabul. Now she is learning to walk again using crutches. Her spirit is high and she still wants to become an architect. It is hard power hegemony as it has broken Razia’s body but not her spirit.
Hegemony as Structural Power: Aslam is resident of Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a good singer and wants to pick up singing as his career. But his parents are against this idea. They are apprehensive of the success of Aslam in this field. So they ask Aslam to pay his attention to his studies and obtain a degree in software engineering. The course is very much in demand and offers a lot of opportunity and money. This will strengthen the economic condition of the family. Structural hegemony explains why Aslam’s father is insisting that Aslam should give up singing and study software engineering.  Hegemony as Soft Power: Vortrosky is a Russian and an engineer. He is now working in Australia. He has adopted a good amount of Australian culture. It symbolises the aspirations of good life that were not available in his country.

Q. 10. Mention three ways in which US dominance since the Cold War is different from its position as a superpower during the Cold War.
Ans. 
During the Cold War, the US found it difficult to gain victories over the Soviet Union in the realm of hard power. It was in the area of structural power  and soft power that the US scored notable victories. Although the Soviet centrally planned economy provided an alternate model of internal economic organisation, the world economy throughout the Cold War years remained a world capitalist economy. But it was in the area of soft power that the US was winner. The example of blue jeans in the Soviet Union clearly shows, the US was able to engineer a generational divide in Soviet society on the basis of a cultural product.

Q. 11. What are the constraints on American hegemony today? Which one of these do you expect to get more important in the future?
Ans. 
The biggest constraints to American hegemony lie within the heart of hegemony itself. Three constraints on American power are identified which are the following:
(i) The first constraint is the institutional architecture of the American state itself. A system of division of powers between the three branches of government places significant brakes upon the unrestrained and immoderate exercise of America’s military power by the executive branch.
(ii) The second constraint on American power is domestic in nature too. It originates from the open nature of American society. Although the American mass media may, from time to time, impose or promote a particular perspective on domestic public opinion in the US, there is nevertheless a deep skepticism  regarding the purpose and methods of government in American political culture.
(iii) The third comes from the side of an international system that could possibly moderate the exercise of American power today and that is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
In my opinion, the third constraint will get more importance in future. The economy is capitalist economy and the economy of the world has become one after the globalisation. To make its presence strong in the world economy, it will keep investing in different countries. The US has enormous interest in keeping the alliance of democracies that follow the market economies alive and therefore it is possible that its allies in NATO will be able to moderate the exercise of US hegemony.

Q. 12. Analyse the three different views within India about the type of relationship India should have with the United States of America.
Or
Examine the different views within India about the type of relationship India should have with the United States of America.
Ans. 
(i) India should maintain its aloofness from the US and focus upon increasing its own comprehensive national power.
(ii) India should take advantage of US hegemony and national understandings to establish best possible options for itself. Opposing the US would be a futile exercise and will only hurt India in long run.
(iii) India should take the lead in establishing a coalition of countries from the developing world.
Detailed Answer : Two new factors have emerged in Indo-US relations in recent years. These factors relate to the technological dimension and the role of the Indian-American diaspora. Like all other countries, India too is independent to keep its relations with the US as per its interests. Different views are put forward regarding India’s relations with the US. They are:
(a) Analysts who see international politics largely in terms of military power are fearful of the growing closeness between India and the US. They are of the view that India should maintain its aloofness from Washington and focus upon increasing its own comprehensive national power.
(b) Other section of analysts regard the growing convergence of interests between the US and India as a historic opportunity for India. They advocate a strategy that would allow India to take advantage of US hegemony and the mutual convergences to establish the best possible options for itself.
(c) The third group of analysts advocates that India should take the lead in establishing a coalition of countries from the developing world. Over time, this coalition would become more powerful and may succeed in weaning the hegemony away from its dominating ways.

Q. 13. “It is very important for India to improve its relations with the US”. Do you agree with this statement? Support your answer with suitable arguments.
Ans. 
Yes, it is important for India to improve its relations with the US because of the following reasons:
(i) After the collapse of the USSR, the world has become unipolar with the US as the sole superpower.
(ii) Also, we need to keep in mind the technical dimension and the role of Indian American diaspora.
(a) US absorbs about 65% of India’s total exports in the software sector.
(b) 300,000 Indians work in the Silicon Valley.
(c) 35% of technical staff of Boeing is of Indian origin.
(d) 15% of all high-tech start-ups are by Indian Americans.
(iii) Both countries are natural allies being the largest and the oldest democracies. Opposition would be futile in the long run.
(iv) India needs to develop a proper relationship with the US in this phase of global hegemony.

Q. 14. “Resistance is the only option available to overcome the hegemony”. Justify the statement by comparing it to other anti-hegemony strategies.
Ans. (i) Resistance : 
The world is a global village and the hegemon is the headman. If the hegemon becomes unbearable, we cannot leave the village and go. The only option with us will be ‘resistance.’
(ii) Strategy to hide : The hegemon is a powerful and dominant one. Therefore Arab powers, just like EU or Russia, China, stay below the ideas and not unduly antagonise the hegemon. This strategy is not very beneficial in the long run for big nations like India, China, Russia but beneficial to the smaller countries. The strategy is to stay aloof and away from hegemon.
(iii) Bandwagon strategy : With the growing convergences in the world, hegemony provides a historic opportunity to countries to extract benefits from the relationship with the hegemon. This is the bandwagon strategy which suggests that countries should build economic, trade and other relations with the hegemon and make it of good use to themselves.
(iv) Building a multipolar world : One of the key strategies is to build a multipolar world. This strategy suggests the coming together of developing nations like China, India, Japan, Russia. The alliance of these countries will eventually become stronger and over power the hegemon.
(v) Non State Actors : If the nation states cannot overcome hegemony these, threat to hegemony 

will come from other non-state actors like NGO’s, international institutions, criticise artists and the media.
(vi) Coming together of people all over the world and criticising USA policies : Globalisation has increased connectivity. Threat to hegemony therefore, comes from an alliance of people from all over the world. People from all over the world including Americans can come together and criticise the policies of the USA.

Q. 15. “If big and resourceful states cannot resist the US hegemony, it is unrealistic to expect much smaller and weaker non-state actors to offer any resistance.” Examine this proposition and give your opinion.
Ans. 
I am fully in agreement with the given proposition that if big and resourceful states cannot resist the US hegemony, it is unrealistic to expect much smaller and weaker non-state actors to offer any resistance. No country of the world can challenge the US in terms of the military power. American military dominance today is both absolute and relative. In absolute terms, the US today has military capabilities that can reach any point on the planet, lethally and in real time. This is the result of the research work. US spends a good amount of its defence budget on the research work associated with its defence system. The US today spends more on its military capability than the next 12 powers combined. How can small and weaker non-state actors match the power of the US? It is simply unrealistic to expect from the smaller states that they will offer any resistance to the mighty US.

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