As after the Second World War, the USA today plays a dominant role in the world following the end of the Cold War. Since 1989, and up to this day, two main theories of history's unfolding, the circular view and the linear view, clash as far as the future role and position of the USA is concerned. On the one hand, Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987) and advocates of the circular theory predict the decline of the USA, as history has shown that all empires that have risen have ultimately fallen. On the other hand, advocates of the linear theory, such as Nye and Fukuyama, postulate the continuation of USA leadership in the world and the inevitable spread of liberalism sooner or later. Both views, however, are mechanical and deterministic. The alternative is the realization that global challenges can only be met globally by global actors.
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