Sample Research Paper on the Role and Effects of the U.S as a World Superpower

Globalization of various aspects of politics has seen the U.S play a crucial role in the world politics especially in the 21st century. In particular, the efforts made by the U.S to solve global challenges have placed the country at a position in history where no other country has come close to for years. Despite these efforts however, the relationship between the U.S and the other countries cannot be said to be perfect politically as the efforts made by the U.S are not taken positively by all the recipients. This has led to assertions from the U.S citizens as well as from many of other nationalities that the U.S should mind its own business and let other nations be concerned with their own affairs. This thus brings about the thesis that the role of the U.S as a world superpower has influenced to a large extent the international relations between different countries due to their interdependence.

This research paper develops the said essay with the objective of determining the global state of affairs with reference to the U.S role in international politics and in international relations. To achieve this objective, the study was guided by the hypothesis that the role that the U.S plays as a world superpower has been crucial in determining the nature of international relations between countries in the 21st century.


Literature Review

As a world superpower, the role played by the U.S is immense. According to Pew Research Center, the position that the U.S holds in the world today requires the country to be able to understand and to take a position in various global issues that plague the world today. Issues such as global terrorism fears and the emergence of terror groups such as ISIS are some of the key subjects of concern to the U.S as a superpower. As such, the country has to make efforts towards not only creating domestic policies on handling such global issues but also helping the global community through creation of foreign policies that eliminate fears and assist victims (Pew Research Center par. 2). This explains why through the years, there have been fluctuating views on the efforts made by the U.S to solve global issues. For instance, according to a survey carried out by Pew Research Center, periods marred with intense global unrest such as during the emergence of ISIS are characterized with more people reporting that the U.S is doing too little to assist. When the problems are of a smaller scale, more people report that the U.S is doing too much for the global issues. This clearly brings out the impression that the U.S has a special role, understood and recognized across the world.

In a study conducted by Lindsay and others, America is recognized as a world superpower in military as well as economic status. According to the study, the U.S military influence in the world today is increasing, leading to a rise in military expenditure both locally and globally (par. 4). The involvement in global affairs has made the increase in military expenditure to rise above even the total military expenditures in countries such as Singapore. However, the authors suggest that this does not necessarily mean that a greater percentage of the national GDP is spent on military roles since the national economy is also growing annually (Lindsay and others par. 6). While the U.S generally makes efforts to assist in nations where there are problems that could escalate to a global status, its actions are not taken to be well meant by all nations. Some of the countries where U.S action prevails through military assistance believe that America does so for its own benefits. This not only hampers smooth international relations with those countries but may extend to other countries which have similar resources.

The ties between the U.S and other countries in the world are also discussed by WGBH Educational Foundation. In the report by the foundations, the U.S is depicted as being regarded as distrustful by countries such as Egypt, Iran and Iraq due to its involvement in their affairs. There have been speculations as reported in the article, that the U.S engages in military and economic assistance of other countries only where there are potential benefits, particularly in terms of oil resources. As such, no efforts made by the U.S in its role as a world super power are taken as good will (WGBH Educational Foundation par. 8). The main reason cited for this is due to the ambiguity of globalization. Lindsay and Others (par. 10)opine that this is probably due to the existence of two factions to the U.S role. The globalists accept the role played by the U.S in maintaining a positive and peaceful environment without having their own selfish interests. On the other hand, the Americanists hold the opinion that America only does what it does for selfish gains.


In an interview with Joseph Nye of UC Berkeley, the respondent responds to the question on what the role of the U.S should be in international affairs. He asserts that the U.S should continue being involved in global affairs without being made to appear as global policemen. Through this answer, it can be deduced that despite the positive will of the American nation in being involved in global affairs, there is the potential that some of its actions could be viewed as interference, supervisory or even unnecessary in some countries. This further explains the rationale behind the arguments presented by anti-global efforts that the U.S engages in international affairs for its own gain. The U.S as a world superpower thus has the imperative to ensure that its role in international relations is not misinterpreted by other countries. From the article reviews, it can thus be deduced that the hypothesis isthus right in the assertion that the role of the U.S as a world superpower influences its relationship with other countries. It is therefore the prerogative of the U.S to ensure that it only gets involved militarily and economically in world affairs to an extent that is sustainable beyond the 21st century.


The U.S plays an important role inmaintaining peace between different countries in the world through its involvement in military and economic global matters. However, some of the countries that receive help from the U.S believe that this is only being done with selfish interests, particularly where oil reserves are abundant. This has created distrustful relations between the U.S and countries such as Egypt and Iran. The study has thus established that the U.S needs to continue doing much as the efforts of the country as a world superpower are appreciated where there is need.



Works Cited

Lindsay, James, Maurice Greenberg and Ivo Daalder. The globalization of politics: American foreign policy for a new century- Book Reviews. Council on Foreign Relations. 2003.

Nye, Joseph. ‘U.S Role in world affairs, conversations with history’. Institute of International Studies. UC: Berkeley, 1998. Retrieved from

Pew Research Center. America’s global role, U.S superpower status. Pew Research Center, 2016. Retrieved from

WGBH Educational Foundation. ‘What have the role and effects of the U.S foreign policies and actions in the Middle East?’ Global Connections, 2002. Retrieved from