Chapter 3 – US Hegemony in World Politics Questions and Answers: NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Political Science (Contemporary World Politics)

Class 12 Political Science (Contemporary World Politics) NCERT book solutions for Chapter 3 - US Hegemony in World Politics Questions and Answers.


1. Which among the following statements
about hegemony is incorrect?
(a) The word implies the leadership or predominance of one State.
(b) It was used to denote the predominance of Athens in ancient Greece.
(c) The country having hegemonic position will possess unchallenged military power.
(d) Hegemonic position is fixed. Once a hegemon, always a hegemon.

Answer: (d) Hegemonic position is fixed. Once a hegemon, always a hegemon.

2. Which among the following statements is wrong about the contemporary world order?
(a) There is an absence of world government, which could regulate the State’s behaviour.
(b) The US is the predominant player in world affairs.
(c) States are using force against one another.
(d) States, which violate international law, are severely punished by the UN.

Answer: (c) States are using force against one another.

3. Which among the following statements is wrong with regard to Operation Iraqi Freedom?
(a) More than forty countries joined in the US led coalition of the willing to invade Iraq.
(b) The reason given for invading Iraq was to prevent it from developing weapons of mass destruction.
(c) The action was taken with the prior approval of the UN.
(d) The US-led coalition did not face major resistance from Iraqi forces.

Answer: (c) The action was taken with the prior approval of the UN.

4. Give an example each of the three types of hegemony that are dealt within the chapter. Do not cite examples that are in the chapter.

Answer: 1. Hegemony as Hard Power:
Tabasum was an artist living in Nigeria and was planning to join Art and Craft Academy to give proficiency to her artistic aptitude. But she lost her leg in 2003 missile attack by the US. After she overcame it, she made efforts to achieve and fulfill her dreams if the foreign armies leave her country.
2. Hegemony as Structural Power: Tabish is very good in his studies in the countryside of Middle East Asia and is planning to study subjects from Arts stream to accommodate himself in different aspects as per requirements. But parents want him to be a master in computers to become Software Engineer due to flair for job opportunities in the same.
3. Hegemony as Soft Power: Mayank is a young and energetic man of Melbourne, immigrants from Russia. His father gets upset when he puts on black shirt with white jeans while he goes to church. He justifies that black colour signifies protest for freedom and white signifies freedom in a peaceful manner.

5. Mention three ways in which US dominance since the Cold War is different from its position as a superpower during the Cold War.

Answer: 1. During Cold War, the US found it difficult to win over the Soviet Union as hard power due to retaliating capacity of the Soviet Union and to protest world from large scale destruction. But in the areas of structural and soft power, the US dominated.
2. During Cold War years, the Soviet Union provided an alternate model of socialist economy to maximise welfare of states. Still the world economy throughout the Cold War years adapted capitalist economy under the US.
3. In the area of soft power, the US became triumphant. As the example of blue jeans shows that the US could engineer a generational gap even in Soviet Society on culture basis.

6. Match the following:

Answer:(i)-(c); (ti)-(a); (iii)—(d); (iv)-(b)

7. what are the constraints on American hegemony today? Which one of these do you expect to get more important in the future?

Answer. “We can identify three constraints on American Power” which were actually not in operation in the years following 9/11. Hence the US could establish its hegemony. Recently all these constraints are slowly beginning to operate in the following ways:
1. The US bears institutional architecture in the American State itself. It refers division of powers between the three branches of government where American military’s executive branch can place significant brakes upon the unrestrained and immoderate exercise.
2. The second constraint on American hegemony emerges from open nature of American society. American society and suffering from a deep skepticism towards purposes and methods of government in America despite an imposition of particular perspectives on domestic opinion in the US. This is a huge constraint on US military action overseas.
3. The third constraint on US hegemony is the possession of NATO to moderate the exercise of the US hegemony today. The US has an enormous interest in keeping the alliance of democracies to follow the market economies alive and it may be possible to its allies in NATO to moderate the exercise of the US hegemony through their own liberal policies to fulfill their own ends.

8. Read the three extracts in the chapter from Lok Sabha debate on the Indo-US deal. Develop any one of these into a full speech defending a certain position on Indo-US relations.

Answer: The following speech has been developed based on the excerpts from Lok Sabha debate as presented by Major General (Retired) B.C. Khanduri of BJP:
Sir, I would respectfully draw the attention of august house towards the US hegemony in today’s scenario. But we should not ignore the fact that India might be next waiting in the wings to perform as a superpower to maintain its own identity. Moreover, hegemony can not stand forever due to its weaknesses. Therefore, we are supposed to have a good and harmonious relations with that of the US for mutual promotion of trade and technology. But India should not compromise from the same on the cost of its own security and identity.
Hence, India should work in a diplomatic manner while it thinks to go hand-in¬hand the US in such a manner that India could extract best benefits from the US hegemony and find out mutual options for itself.

9. “If big and resourceful states cannot resist the US hegemony, it is unrealistic to expect much smaller and weaker non-state actors to offer any resistance”. Examine this proposition and give your opinion.

Answer. This proposition focuses only on, the powers of the state and believes that only big and resourceful states can challenge the US hegemony which it approaches right in a practical manner, but if we think deeply these are thoughts and pens of writers, expressions of artists, media and intellectuals who have no boundaries including hegemony itself to be criticised and resisted in the form of non-government organisations (NGOs), social movements and public opinion. Hence, non-state actors may challenge the US hegemony also in their own way and it can work out also.
Very Short Answer Type Questions [1 Mark]

l.What is meant by ‘Hegemon/?

Answer: The term ‘Hegemony’ stands for an international system which is dominated by a sole superpower or hyper-power. The collapse of the Soviet Union left the world with only one single power, the United States of America.

2. What was first Gulf War?

Answer: A massive coalition force of 660,000 troops from 34 countries faught against
Iraq and defeated it in what came to be known as the First Gulf War.

3. What was ‘Operation Iraqi’ Freedom?

Answer: On 19 March 2003, the US launched its invasion of Iraqi under the codename ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’. More than 40 other countries joined in the US coalition of the willing after the UN refused to give its mandate to the invasion.

4. What is meant by hegemony?

Answer: Hegemony is an international system to dominate world by only one superpower.

5. First Gulf War was fought against in which troops from countries fought.

Answer: Iraq, 34 countries.

6. What does the term ‘hegemony’ imply?

Answer: The word ‘hegemony’ implies the dominance of one state means world power in the form of military dominance, economic power, political clout and cultural superiority.

7. What is meant by 9/11 in the context of USA?

Answer: 9/11 denotes a series of attacks on the US by hijackers from Arab countries on 11 Sep 2001. It was the most disastrous attack on the US.

8. What is the New World Order?

Answer: The sudden collapse of Soviet Union led to the New World Order in the form of the US hegemony.

9. What is World Politics?

Answer: World Politics refers to distribution of power among the countries of the world. These countries are engaged to gain and retain power by their capabilities.

10. Mention the period of beginning of US hegemony.

Answer: 1991.

11. Name the elected president of the USA in the year 1992 and 1996.

Answer: William Jefferson Bill Clinton.

12. What was the focus of foreign policy of Bill Clinton?

Answer: The Clinton government tended to focus on ‘Soft issues’ like democracy promotion, climate change and world trade rather than on the hard politics of military power.

13. What was Guantanamo Bay?

Answer: A naval base in Cuba set up by the US where prisoners forbidden of the protection of international law or law of their own country or that of the US.

14. Mention any two constraints operated in the US hegemony.

Answer: Two constraints operated in the US hegemony are institutional architecture of American state (division of power) and open nature of American Society.

15. What are Global Public Goods?

Answer: Goods that can be consumed by people without reducing the amount of available goods for others are known as the global public goods.
Examples: Fresh air, roads, sea-lanes of communications (SLoCs).

16. What is SLoCs?

Answer: SLoCs stands for Sea Lanes of Communications. It is the naval power of hegemon that underwrites the law of the sea and ensures freedom of navigation in international water.

17. What is the full form of WMD?

Answer: WMD stands for Weapons of Mass Destruction.

18. What is meant by hegemony as hard power?

Answer. Hegemony as hard power implies dominance of superpower on ground of military power.

19. What is meant by hegemony as structural power?

Answer: Hegemony as structural power implies dominance of superpower on grounds of economic structure. The superpower must possess both the ability and the desire to establish norms for order and must sustain the global structure.

Very Short Answer Type Questions [2 Marks]

1. When and why did the New World Order begin?

Answer: The New World Order began in 1991 after the collapse of Soviet Union. The world was left only with single superpower the US and came to be known as the US Hegemony to show the superiority of its military power. The US hegemony also shaped the world economy and emerged in the form of military domination, economic order, political clout and cultural superiority.

2. Why did US launch a war against Iraq?

Answer: On 19 March 2003, the US launched a war against Iraq under the codename of ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ to be joined by forty other countries under the leadership of the US on the ground to prevent Iraq from developing weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) without no evidence against Iraq. Hence, the ostensible purposes were different as controlling Iraqi Oilfields and installing a regime friendly to the US.

3. How was Kuwait liberated from Iraq in 1990?

Answer: In August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait rapidly occupying and subsequently annexing it. All diplomatic attempts were a failure in convincing Iraq to quit its aggression. The United Nations took a dramatic decision to mandate the liberation of Kuwait by force. A massive coalition force of 66,000 troops from 34 countries fought against Iraq and defeated it, known as the First Gulf War also.

4. What was ‘Operation Infinite Reach’ ordered by President Clinton?

Answer: Operation Infinite Reach was a series of cruise missile strikes on Al-Qaeda terrorist targets in Sudan and Afghanistan. For this, the US did not bother of any international law. This operation was ordered by President Clinton in response to bombing of the US embassies in Narobi, Kenya, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania in 1998.

5. What was Operation Enduring Freedom?

Answer: Operation Enduring Freedom was the US response against 9/11 attack to arrest all those who were suspected to be behind the attack, mainly Al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The US arrested the persons all over the world often without the knowledge of government of the person being arrested, transported them and detained in secret prisons.

6. How can hegemony be overcome?

Answer: To overcome hegemony there are different strategies developed by analysts. As the bandwagon strategy reveals to extract benefits by operating within hegemonic system. ‘To hide’ strategy implies staying as far from the dominant power as possible. And it may be possible that various challenges to occur from non-state actors in the form of their writings, expressions to mould the minds of people.

7. “The US did not start behaving like a hegemonic power right from 1991, it became clear much later that world was living in fact in a period of hegemony”. Examine the statement.

Answer: The US hegemony was the beginning of New World Order and process for its establishment had been started in August 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait and occupied it to make a part of Iraq. Despite UN’s diplomatic attempts to liberate Kuwait from Iraq, it was not liberated. Hence UN mandated liberation of Kuwait by force, a dramatic decision. A massive coalition force of 660,000 troops from 34 countries fought against Iraq and defeated it under UN’s ‘Operation Desert Storm’. But it was led by the US because 75 per cent of the coalition forces were from the US only. This war is popularly known as the First Gulf War establishing the US hegemony.

8. With reference to Iraq invasion, mention the American weaknesses.

Answer: Imperial powers have used military forces to accomplish only four tasks to conquer, deter, punish and police in a historical perspective. As the Iraq invasion shows American capacity to conquer is formidable and capability to deter and to punish is self evident. American weakness has been revealed in performing fourth task i.e. the policing in an occupied territory.

9. What was 9/11 event? How did the US respond to it?

Answer: 9/11 event implies a series of attacks on the US by hijackers from Arab countries on 11 September 2001. It was the most disastrous attack on the US. The hijackers attacked on important US building as World Trade Centre in New York, Pentagon building and Capital building of US Congress in Pennsylvania.
The US responded to it by launching ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ to arrest all those who were suspected to be behind this attack. The US forces made arrest all over the world without the knowledge of the government of the persons being arrested, transported and detained them in secret prisons mainly against Al-Qaeda and Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

10. “The US hegemony does not dominate the world only as hard and structural power but as a soft power also.” Justify the statement.

Answer: The US hegemony does not dominate the world only as militarily and economically but it has the capacity to create ‘manufacturing consent’ from the rest of the world in the cultural dimensions also. The cultural dimension implies class ascendancy in the social, political and ideological spheres where the ideas of ‘good life’ are flourished. Its most appealing example is of‘blue jeans’ from the US, which had the capacity to engineer even as generational divide.