Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Jennifer Morrison Taw

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Rights Information

© 2015 Dante R. Toppo


Why has the United States, given its status as the sole remaining superpower following its Cold War victory, been unable to translate its preponderance of power into the outcomes it desires? The system established by the United States over the course of the Cold War does not effectively translate its power into influence in the post-Cold War world. In fact, the way US-Soviet competition shaped global affairs created systemic problems, weak and failing states, terrorism, autocracy and human rights abuse, that cannot be solved by the mechanisms of influence the US relied upon to win the Cold War. However, precisely these issues now dominate the American foreign policy agenda as its strategic objective shifted from defeating communism to maintaining the stability of the liberal world order that resulted from communism’s defeat. The United States, reliant on Cold War era mechanisms of influence, lacks the tools to accomplish these new objectives because these mechanisms were designed to exploit or accept the problems of statehood that now plague the liberal world order. Therefore, for the United States to make effective use of its abundance of power, it must either change its tools or its objectives.


  • 2015 CMC Best Thesis Award – International Relations