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Ascent of Europe

Europe's power is easy to miss because news is told by journalists rather than historians, but Europe's success has led to the evolution of a new kind of power—about spreading norms rather than always getting your way

By Mark Leonard   March 2005

For all the talk of American empire, the last two years have demonstrated the limits of US power. America’s economic lead over the rest of the world has disappeared. In 1950 its GDP was twice the size of western Europe’s and five times Japan’s; today its GDP is the same size as the EU’s and just over twice that of Japan. Its political power is waning too: its failure to secure support on Iraq from Europeans, and even from countries as economically dependent upon it as Mexico and Chile, shows that the price for saying “no” to the US has…

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