In recent years much attention has been given to the ongoing rise of China and its potential consequences for the extant international order. Less attention, however, has been given to the possibility of a US withdrawal from its role at the center of the order it helped to create. Since the election of Donald Trump, however, the prospect of a "leadership vacuum," caused by American policies that seek to dismantle, weaken, or ignore various international institutions, has become an increasingly important issue. In this article we explore the historical nature of US hegemony and the factors that may be encouraging the Trump administration to abandon America's leadership role. We also consider the factors that may inhibit China from offering an alternative. Consequently, we argue that international order in the near future may be defined by a lack of leadership rather than a hegemonic transition.


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pp. 387-415
Launched on MUSE
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