America’s Decline? Toward an Imperfect Multipolar World

  • Vittorio Valli


Much has been written about America’s decline and indeed in the 2000s the US economy has shown a relative economic decline, while wars and social and political tensions have reduced its inner solidity and its international appeal. Nonetheless, the US remains the top economic, financial, political, and military power in the world. Many factors, however, contribute to a US decline and to a partial rebalancing trend in economic and global power: the impetuous rise of other giant economies such as China and India; the partial recovery of Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the severe transition crisis; the vast, though fragile, unification project in Europe; the growth of some emerging countries; the ferments and dangers coming from the Islamic world; and so on. We are thus gradually moving toward an imperfect multipolar world, which we have called imperfect because of the vast differences in power and cohesion existing among the various poles. A few concluding remarks will complete our general picture.


America’s decline A comparison with the decline of the British Empire The ascent of China The economic potential of the European Union The economic return of Russia Japan’s economy India and other emerging economies Toward an imperfect multipolar world The fragility of international organizations Concluding remarks 


  1. Arrighi, G. 1994. The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times. London and New York: Verso, new edition 2010.Google Scholar
  2. Basu, K., and A. Maertens. 2012. The New Oxford Companion to Economics in India. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Braudel, F. 1984. Civilization and Capitalism, 15th–18th Century: The Perspective of the World. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  4. Conference Board. 2017. Total Economy Database: Output, Labor and Labor Productivity, November.Google Scholar
  5. Conference Board. 2018. Total Economy Database: Output, Labour and Labour Productivity. Accessed May 10, 2018.
  6. De Cecco, M. 1974. Money and Empire. Oxford: B. Blackwell.Google Scholar
  7. De Grauwe, P. 2016. Economics of Monetary Union. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Gerschenkron, A. 1962. Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Gordon, R.J. 2016. The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Halevi, J. 2016. Joseph Halevi ricorda Marcello De Cecco.
  11. Marelli, E., and M. Signorelli. 2017. Europe and the Euro. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Morrison, W.M. 2018. China-U.S. Trade Issues. Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, April 2016. Accessed June 9, 2018.
  13. Musu, I. 2011. La Cina contemporanea: economia e società di fronte alle nuove sfide. Bologna: Il Mulino.Google Scholar
  14. Naughton, B. 2006. The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Second edition. 2018.Google Scholar
  15. Payne, R.J. 2009. Global Issues: Politics, Economics and Culture. New York: Pearson.Google Scholar
  16. Perkins, D.H. 2015. The Economic Transformation of China. Singapore and London: World Scientific Publishing Co.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. UNTCAD. 2018.
  18. Valli, V. 2015. The Economic Rise of China and India. Torino: Accademia University Press.Google Scholar
  19. ———. 2017. The Economic Rise of Asia: Japan, India and South Korea. Torino: Accademia University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Valli, V., and D. Saccone. 2009. Structural Change and Economic Development in China and India. European Journal of Comparative Economics 6 (1): 101–129.Google Scholar
  21. ———. 2015. Structural Change, Globalization and Economic Growth in China and India. European Journal of Comparative Economics 12 (2): 133–163.Google Scholar
  22. Wallerstein, I. 2004. World-Systems Analysis. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  23. World Bank. 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vittorio Valli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economics and Statistics “Cognetti De Martiis”University of TorinoTorinoItaly

Personalised recommendations