US Hegemony In World Politics Notes Class 12 Chapter 3

Class 12 Political Science Notes Chapter 3 “US Hegemony In World Politics” is part of Class 12. From these notes, you will get to know about the increased Dominance of America at the international level. US Hegemony In World Politics

The Topic “The End of Bipolarity” have been covered in previous Notes, In this article, We will be given Notes on “US Hegemony In World Politics” (Class 12 Chapter 3). Here we have given NCERT Political Science Class 12 Notes Chapter 3 US Hegemony In World Politics. You can also Download a PDF of Todays Notes.

Also See: Parliamentary Committees, Types of Parliamentary Committees

In this chapter, we will learn:-

  • The nature, extent, and limits of American dominance.
  • From the Gulf War to the US-led invasion of Iraq.
  • The nature of this dominance with the help of the concept of dominance.
  • About India’s policy options to deal with America.
  • The challenge to US supremacy?


 After the end of the Cold War, the United States of America emerged as the biggest power in the world and no one in the world could compete with it. The period after this event was called the period of a unipolar world. In these notes, we will try to understand the nature, extent, and limits of American dominance.

Note: We will follow the popular usage of the word ‘America‘ to refer to the “United States of America”. But it may be useful to remind ourselves that the expression America covers the two continents of North and South America.

Beginning Of The New World Order

 The sudden collapse of the Soviet Union took everyone by surprise. While one of the two superpowers ceased to exist, US dominance began in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union from the international

First Gulf War

 In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, rapidly occupying and subsequently annexing it. The United Nations mandated the liberation of Kuwait by Force. A massive coalition force of 660,000 soldiers from 34 countries fought against Iraq and defeated it in what came to be known as the First Gulf War. In the armies of 34 countries, 75 percent of the coalition forces were from America.

US Hegemony In World Politics

  • The First Gulf War showed that the rest of the country was far behind the United States in terms of military capability.
  • America has come a long way in terms of technology.
  • America used ‘Smart Bombs‘ in this war.
  • Supervisor – ‘Computer Warfare’

The Clinton Years

  • In Kosovo, Yugoslavia launched a military operation to crush the Albanian movement.
  • NATO countries under US leadership bombed the countries of Yugoslavia for 2 months
  • NATO forces occupy Kosovo
  • US embassies in Kenya’s Nairobi and Dare Salaam (Tanzania) were bombed, and US attacks in response
  • Al Qaeda was blamed for the bombing
  • Multiple cruise missile attacks on al-Qaeda targets in Sudan and Afghanistan

US Hegemony In World Politics Notes

9/11 And The “Global War On Terror”

  • America became a country in 1776
  • On 11 September 2001, 19 hijackers hailing from a number of Arab countries took control of four American commercial aircraft.
  • 2 planes were crashed into the World Trade Center in New York by hijackers. While the third plane hit the Pentagon (US Defense Headquarters) located in Arlington, Virginia, and the fourth aircraft presumably bound for the capital building of the US Congress, but it landed in a field in Pennsylvania.
  • This attack is called Nine-Eleven (9/11).
  • 3000 people were killed in the attack
  • As part of the “Global War on Terror“, the US launched “Operation Enduring Freedom“, a campaign against all those suspected of 9/11.
  • Mainly Target – Al-Qaeda and Taliban regime in Afghanistan
  • The American forces made arrests all over the world.
  • Often people were not informed about their government
Guantanamo Bay
  • An America Naval base in Cuba
  • Even the representatives of the United Nations were not allowed to meet these prisoners.
  • The prisoners kept in this place have neither the protection of international laws nor the laws of their country or America.

The Iraq Invasion

Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • On March 19, 2003, America launched a military invasion of Iraq under the code name of ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom‘.
  • More than 40 countries have joined the US-led ‘Coalition of Willings’.
  • The United Nations did not allow this attack on Iraq.
Reason Of Attack
  • To prevent the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction
  • No evidence of such weapons was found in Iraq
Real motive
  • Control of Iraq’s oil reserves
  • Establishing a government of America’s choice in Iraq

The Iraq Invasion

  • A full-scale insurgency against America erupts in Iraq
  • 3000 American soldiers died
  • Far more soldiers were killed than in Iraq.
  • An estimated 50,000 civilians were killed following the US attack.
  • In an important sense, the US invasion of Iraq proved to be a military and political failure.

What Does Hegemony Mean?

  • The story of politics revolves around power.
  • In world politics, different countries are engaged in trying to gain power and maintain it.
  • When the international system is dominated by a single superpower, it is also called a ‘unipolar system‘.
  • If there is only one center of power in the international system, then it is more appropriate to describe it using the word ‘Hegemony‘.

Hegemony As Hard Power

  • The word hegemony has its roots in ancient Greece.
  • This word refers to the leadership or head of any one state.
  • Composition and pattern of military capability among states
  • The same meaning is used to describe America’s position in world politics today.
  • The backbone of America’s current power is its increased military power.
Military Power
  • Target anywhere in the world
  • Right Time – Surefire and Deadly Strike
  • keep your army at the maximum distance from the battlefield
  • Power to paralyze the enemy in his own house
  • No country even comes close to comparing US military power.
  • Military expenditure of 12 powerful countries after America
  • America’s spending on military capability
  • The Pentagon spends the bulk of its budget on technology

US Military Capability – Invasion of Iraq

  • America exposed on Iraq. The attack exposed some of America’s weaknesses
  • The US has not been able to make the people of Iraq bow before the coalition forces led by it.

History Witness- Imperialist powers used military force only for four goals-

  1. America’s ability to win – formidable
  2. To object
  3. To punish
  4. Maintain law and order (US military capability weak)- He could not restore law and order in his occupied territory.

Supremacy In The Sense Of Structural Strength

  • In a global economy, it is necessary to have a self-driving country that builds and maintains the things it values.
  • America’s role in providing global public goods.
  • Public goods – such things which can be consumed – so that there is no shortage of the same thing available. (Like- clean air, Sank)

In the context of the global economy

Public goods- 

Sea Route

  • Used by merchant ships.
  • Free trade in an open global economy is not possible without the opening of maritime trade routes.
  • The dominating country decides the rules of movement on the sea trade routes with the power of its navy. (This role is played by the US Navy, which has a presence in every ocean of the world.)
  • The dominating country decides the rules of movement on the sea trade routes with the power of its navy. (This role is played by the US Navy, which has a presence in every ocean of the world.)
  • Ensures movement in international group


  • Result of US military research project
  • The Internet is dependent on a global network of satellites, and most of these satellites are from the US.

American supremacy

  • America has a 21 percent share of the world economy.
  • There is not a single sector in which an American company is not one of the top three.
  • America’s economic strength has a connection to its connection.
  • shaping the global economy
  • After World War II, the fraternity system was established
  • Even today it is working as the basic structure of the world economy.
  • The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization are the result of US domination.

MBA (Master Of Business Administration)

  • Quintessentially American
  • Business is a profession
  • This skill can be acquired at University
  • The world’s first business school, named the Warden School, opened in 1981 at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • The initial courses of an MBA started in the year 1900.
  • Any MBA course outside America was started in the year 1950.
  • Today there is no country in the world where an MBA does not enjoy the status of a prestigious academic degree.

Hegemony In The Cultural Sense

Meaning 1
  • The power of consensus
  • The dominance of the edge of a class on the ground of social, political, and especially ideology
  • The behavior of the weaker countries is influenced in such a way that it serves the interests of the most powerful country.
  • The dominant country works both through consent and coercion.
  • The ideas about the good life and personal success that are prevalent around the world today were all prevalent in America in the 20th and 20th centuries.
  • Attitudes are reflections of attitudes.
  • American culture is breathtaking, that’s why it’s the most powerful
Meaning 2
  • During the Cold War, the United States found it difficult to beat the Soviet Union in terms of military power.
  • The US beat the Soviet Union in terms of structural strength and cultural dominance.
  • Throughout the Cold War, the world economy ran on capitalist lines.
  • America achieved a major victory in the realm of cultural dominance.
  • In the Soviet Union, blue jeans were a symbol of youth.
  • For an entire generation of Soviets, blue jeans became a symbol of aspirations for the good life.
  • Such a good life was available in the Soviet Union

Barriers to American Power

  • The institutional fabric of America
  • Division of power between the three branches of government
  • Curb the unbridled use of military power by the executive
  • The liberal nature of American society
  • Deep skepticism about the purpose and method of governance in American political culture
  • This thing is very effective in curbing America’s foreign military operations.
  • NATO( North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
  • America has a great interest in maintaining this organization of democratic countries.
  • Because a market-oriented economy runs from these countries.
  • Countries involved in NATO can curb America’s supremacy

India’s Relations With America

Cold War Era
  • India against the American group
  • after the disintegration of the soviet union
  • India friendless
  • India has decided to liberalize its economy and integrate it with the global economy.
Facts To Consider
  • In the field of software, 65 percent of India’s total exports go to America.
  • 35 percent of Boeing’s technical staff are of Indian origin.
  • 3 lakh Indians work in Silicon Valley
  • 154 percent of high technology companies were started by Indians in the US.
  • America’s era of world domination
  • India has to decide together how it wants to have relations with America.

Three Possible Strategies To Consider In India


  • A scholar writing about international politics in terms of military power
  • India should maintain its isolation from Washington
  • Focus on increasing your National Power


  • A growing rift in Indo-US relations – a historic opportunity
  • India should take advantage of American supremacy
  • US anti-US politics will prove futile – loss to India in the long run


  • India should form an alliance with developing countries under its leadership.
  • In a few years, this alliance will become more powerful.
  • Capable of countering US hegemony

How To Deal With Dominance

Three ways to avoid supremacy suggested by scholars


  • No country equals the United States in military power.
  • The possibility of challenging this supremacy in countries like India, China and Russia
  • But differences between these countries


  • Take advantage of the opportunities generated by inheritance
  • Instead of going against a powerful country, it is better to take advantage of the opportunities while living in its dominant system.

Third Hideaway:-

  • stay away from the dominating country
  • This policy is compatible and attractive to small countries
  • Not useful for big or medium-power countries

Other Concepts:-

  • Some people believe that – no country or group of countries will be able to counter American supremacy.
  • Non-state actors will come forward to counter the US.
  • American supremacy will be challenged on economic and cultural grounds
  • This challenge will be presented by a mutual combination of voluntary organization, social movement, and public opinion.
  • These non-state organizations can form a worldwide network, including US citizens. Together we can criticize and oppose American policies.
Political Science Notes
Previous Notes The End Of Bipolarity
Today Notes US Hegemony In World Politics
Next Notes Alternative Centres Of Power


Today’s Notes US Hegemony In World Politics all the important points have been covered well, through this notes information about the disintegration of the Soviet Union after the Second World War and the beginning of America’s supremacy is obtained.


1. What is meant by US Hegemony In World Politics?
The term US hegemony in world politics refers to the leadership and supremacy of a state or country, in which the state or country’s political, economic, and military dominance is seen.

2. What are the 3 main features of Hegemony?
Power, dominance, and leadership are the three main characteristics of hegemony.

3. What are the two constraints of American Hegemony?
1. Curb the unbridled use of military power by the executive.
2. Deep skepticism about the purpose and method of governance in American political culture.

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