Most of the US public opinion generally remembers the 80s as a successful decade, characterized by a great economic recovery and the victory in the Cold War at the expense of the Soviet Union. Those years came after the uncertain 70s, when the American weakness was particularly visible. Many authors use to describe the then-President, Ronald Reagan, as the leading “actor” of that patriotic renaissance. More than thirty years on, the ghost of the US decline is back.
One of the most significant but overlooked factors in American electoral politics, especially among foreign observers, is the role played by religious issues. Since the 1980s, divisions in the electorate based on levels of religious observance have become increasingly prominent in determining partisanship and vote choice – so much so that, by 2008, the political gap between religious and secular Americans had come to dwarf more widely recognized divisions.
Every ten years it is decline time in the United States. The declinist vision is so recurrent that it seems a constant countermelody of American exceptionalism. The paper offers an appraisal of the recent American debate on U.S. decline.
A lively debate was recently resumed on the purported decline of the United States. Those who argue that the American hegemony won’t last for long base their claim on economic consid-erations. In military terms, however, evidence suggest different conclusions: compared to other major powers, the US has more and better capabilities – enough to protract the unipolar moment for a long time.