1st Edition

Bush II, Obama, and the Decline of U.S. Hegemony in the Western Hemisphere

By Thomas Andrew O'Keefe Copyright 2018
    208 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    208 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Bush II, Obama, and the Decline of U.S. Hegemony in the Western Hemisphere applies competing definitions and conceptions of hegemony to various foreign policy initiatives and events during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama to test whether they manifest a decline in traditional United States dominance and leadership in the Western Hemisphere. In particular, the book examines the continued relevancy of the Inter-American system, the failure to establish a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and the stillborn Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA). It also discusses the implications of the People’s Republic of China becoming a major trading partner and important source of financing and investment capital throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The book provides critical reviews of Plan Colombia, the Merida Initiative, Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas, the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), 100,000 Strong in the Americas, and the restoration of normal U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba. There are extensive analyses, unusual for a work in English, on the Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (ALBA), Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y del Caribe (CELAC), and Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (UNASUR).

    1. What is Hegemony and When Has the United States of America Been a Hegemon?

    2. The Inter-American System Under the Aegis of United States Hegemony

    3. A Post Hegemonic Inter-American System

    4. The Emergence and Collapse of the Free Trade Area of the Americas

    5. The Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas

    6. China in Latin America and the Caribbean

    7. The Record on Other Major United States Foreign Policy Initiatives in the Western Hemisphere under George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama

    8. The Current State of Affairs and Future Ramifications


    Thomas Andrew O’Keefe has been the President of Mercosur Consulting Group, Ltd. since 1993 and currently teaches at Stanford University. A dual US-Chilean national, he has degrees from Columbia University, Villanova University’s School of Law, and the University of Oxford. The author of numerous books and articles on Latin America and the Caribbean, he chaired the Western Hemisphere Area Studies program at US State Department’s Foreign Service Institute between 2011 and 2016.

    'O'Keefe's book is a theoretically informed and highly detailed walk through the last decades of U.S.-Latin American relations, explaining in clear terms why the United States has lost so much power in the Western Hemisphere. He pulls no punches, showing the complexities of these relations, the opportunities taken and missed, and the eruption of China on the scene, as well as leftist governments that created alternatives to U.S. hegemony. This is by far the best book available to readers seeking to understand the United States’ loss of dominance.' - Erick D. Langer, Professor of History, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

    'In this original and very accessible work Thomas Andrew O’Keefe offers fresh insights into the processes of order and change that sustain and contest U.S. hegemony. This book makes a major contribution to the turn in the political economy of hemispheric relations.' - Diana Tussie, Director of the International Relations Department, FLACSO Argentina