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The Myth about a Weak American State

The myth about a Weak American state has been a controversial historical topic given the general consideration that a myriad of factors propelled America to the status of the global power. The present America is at odds with the representatives that shaped American past. According to Hauss (2008), “the present America is witnessing the steady aggrandizement of executive, administrative, emergency, military, and war powers as contemporary commentators such as Michael Hardt contemplate the contours of American hegemony and super power in a new ear empire.” There is a total lack of hegemony in regard to narratives on the American past and the impact of present political economy, foreign policy and politics.

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Charles Hauss in his book – comparative Politics, Domestic responses to global challenges – has projected interesting insights on the critical reasons behind the ontology of the “Weak American State”. Whereas Hauss points out that statement like this confuse non-academic members of the society, he insists that America is the weakest state in industrialized democracy. The collapse of the Soviet Union opened the doors for an exertion of political influence to all corners of the globe. However, this does not translate to a strong state because America has taken fewer social and economic responsibilities in comparison to other liberal democracies. In addition to the above, Hauss (2008) illustrates “that it usually takes more time and is generally less effective than those liberal democracies when it does act”.

These entrenched weaknesses within the systems of the American state have historical origins that date back to as far as 1787. The surrounding plethora led to the creation of a nation with multiple overlapping levels of authority. These have the negative effects of denying its citizens the opportunity to access all the things they desire and thus push its same citizens to seek compromised solutions to their problems. To clearly have an understanding of the Weak American State, it is important to begin by analyzing the legislative processes in American history. Hauss (2008) states that “the American President has to more of persuading than most democratic leaders because of the fragmented American political institutions even in instances where the president can make things happen automatically.” This is because the complex decision-making processes deny him the opportunity to make express decisions.

The Weak American State is also characterized by a framework in which coordinating activities in regards to the roles of the President are made more difficult by lack of well-drawn lines of authority. This is illustrated by Hauss (2008) in stating that “the three departments and two agencies – the Department of Defense, State, and Energy and the Director of National Intelligence and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency – have direct responsibilities for developing policy to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons.” This responsibility is watered down by the Department of Commerce that is also involved in the export of not only products but also technology that would include the know-how on nuclear development. Furthermore, the weakness in the American system is also demonstrated in the complex and long processes involved in congressional decision-making. Whereas the American system draws its strength from decisions are made based on the interests of the constituency, a number of diverse forces enter into the processes of legislation that deny it the resulting strength. Last, the relationship between the presidency and the congress makes American State weak. This is because of the bureaucracy involved and the immense powers given to the courts in judicial reviews.


Hauss, C. (2008). Comparative Politics: Domestic Responses to Global Challenges. New York: Cengage Learning.

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"The Myth about a Weak American State." StudyCorgi, 24 Dec. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "The Myth about a Weak American State." December 24, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "The Myth about a Weak American State." December 24, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Myth about a Weak American State." December 24, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The Myth about a Weak American State'. 24 December.

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