America, Asia, Europe, global superpowers


By 2040, the United States will no longer be considered as a global superpower and the world may be headed toward a long era devoid of any superpowers. This will occur as a result of several negative trends within the United States itself, combined with changing dynamics and exigencies in the global system and the rise of more powerful competitors in Asia and Europe. The negative trends within the United States include unprecedented governmental and international debt, dysfunctional campaign-finance and lobbying systems, unmanageable entitlement and health-care obligations, a deteriorating public education network, an inordinate concentration of wealth and power in the hands of relatively few individuals and corporate interests, and imperial overstretch. Internationally, globalization trends will necessitate much more cooperation across national borders with a premium placed on multilateral cooperation as opposed to unilateral initiatives. More than one-third of humanity in China and India is now being integrated into the international market system and new national and regional competitors such as the EU and ASEAN will diminish the overall economic and political influence of the United States. In 2040, the United States may be primus inter pares among the leading group of nations, but both the "American Century" and America's "unipolar moment" in history will have come to an end.

Original Publication Citation

Fry, Earl H. (27) "The Decline of the American Superpower," The Forum: Vol. 5 : Iss. 2, Article 3.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Berkeley Electronic Press




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Political Science