NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Political Science Chapter 3 US Hegemony in World Politics

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NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Political Science Chapter 3 US Hegemony in World Politics


TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS SOLVED

Q1. 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.

Q2. 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.

Q3. 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.

Q4. 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 Do not cite examples that are in the chapter.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:i)• Hegemony as Hard Power: Afiya was an artist living in Mozambique who was doing well in her studies and was planning to study medicine in university. But she lost her leg in 2003 missile attack by the US. After she overcame it, she still plans to become a doctor, but only after the foreign armies leave her country.

ii)• Hegemony as Structural Power: Kungawo, a very good artist who lives in Durban, South Africa. His paintings are heavily influenced by traditional tribal art forms and wants to go to art school
and later open his own studio. But his father wants him to do engineering in computer science due to flair for job opportunities in the same.

iii)• Hegemony as Soft Power: Oliver is a young and energetic man of New Zealand. Her parents are 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

Q5. Mention three ways in which US dominance since the Cold War is different from its position as a superpower during the Cold War.

Answer: i). 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.
ii). 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.
iii). 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.

Q6. Match the following:

i. Operation Infinite Reacha. War against Al-Qaeda and Taliban
ii. Operation Enduring Freedomb. Coalition of the willing
iii. Operation Desert Stormc. Missile attack in Sudan
iv. Operation Iraqi Freedom d. First Gulf War

Answer:

i. Operation Infinite Reachc. Missile attack in Sudan
ii. Operation Enduring Freedoma. War against Al-Qaeda and Taliban
iii. Operation Desert Stormd. First Gulf War
iv. Operation Iraqi Freedomb. Coalition of the willing

Q7. 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:
i). 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.
ii). 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.
iii). 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.

Q8. 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.
Thanks.

Q9. “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.


MORE QUESTIONS SOLVED

Very Short Answer Type Questions [1 Mark]

Ql.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.

Q2. 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.

Q3. 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.

Q4. What is meant by hegemony?

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

Q5. First Gulf War was fought against in which troops from countries fought.

Answer: Iraq, 34 countries.

Q6. 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.

Q7. 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.

Q8. 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.

Q9. 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.

Q10. Mention the period of beginning of US hegemony.

Answer: 1991.

Q11. Name the elected president of the USA in the year 1992 and 1996.

Answer: William Jefferson Bill Clinton.

Q12. 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.

Q13. 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.

Q14. 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.

Q15. 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).

Q16. 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.

Q17. What is the full form of WMD?

Answer: WMD stands for Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Q18. What is meant by hegemony as hard power?

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

Q19. 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]

Q1. 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.

Q2. 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.

Q3. 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.

Q4. 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.

Q5. 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.

Q6. 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.

Q7. “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.

Q8. 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.

Q9. 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.

Q10. “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.


Short Answer Type Questions [4 Marks]

Q1. How far is it correctly say that the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre was the attack on the US hegemony? Explain.

Answer: The US had established its hegemony through the launch of two operations namely ‘Operation Desert Storm’ where 75 per cent of the coalition forces were from the US and ‘Operation Infinite Reach’, a series of Cruise missile strikes on Al-Qaeda. These operations made the US more confident of the establishment of the US hegemony that no one could dare to challenge the US. But, suddenly hijackers from Arab countries attacked on the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001 alongwith the other important buildings also as Pentagon building (the US defence department) and the capital building of US the Congress. It was the most severe attack on the US soil since the founding of the country in 1776.
Thus, it can be concluded that the 9/11 attack was the attack on US hegemony which challenged the US in its own way.

Q2. Describe any two constraints of American hegemony.

Answer: The US domination in military, economic, cultural aspects over other nations to show her supremacy is known as US hegemony.
Its constraints are as follows-
i). The institutional architecture of American State itself i.e. they follow the system of division of powers between three organs of government.
ii). The open nature of American Society and Political Culture i.e. the American mass media may promote a particular issue on domestic public opinion but never opposed the purposes and methods of government in American Political Culture.

Q3. What military actions were taken by Clinton government despite their lack of interest were different from military power?

Answer: The US President William Jefferson Bill Clinton believed in the policy of soft issues like democracy promotion, climate change and the world trade in place of military dominance. But the US revealed its military dominance even during the Clinton era wherever it was required by the US in the following manner:
i). In 1999, the US responded.to Yugoslavian action against the predominant Albanian population in the province of Kosovo. The NATO air force countries under the US leadership bombarded targets around Yugoslavia for two months forcing the downfall of the government of Slobodan Milosevic and the stationary of NATO force in Kosovo.
ii). In 1998, the US launched an ‘Operation Infinite Reach’ a series of cruise missile strikes on Al-Qaeda terrorist targets in Sudan and Afghanistan in response to the bombings of US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, Dar-es- Salaam and Tanzania.

Q4. Explain the hegemony of the United States of America as a structural power.

Answer: Hegemony as a structural power implies economic perspective of world economy. It can be summed up in the following ways:
i). An open world economy requires a dominant power to support its creation and existence.
ii). The hegemon must possess both the ability and the desire to establish certain norms for order and must sustain global structure i.e. Bretton Woods system set up by the US after Second World Wan
iii). The US reflects this hegemony by providing the global public goods, those can be consumed by one person without reducing the amount of goods available for someone else.
iv). A classical example of structural power of the US is the academic degree Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) to sharpen business skills in a University.

Q5. “Economic preponderance of the US is inseparable from its structural power”. Discuss.

Answer: Economic preponderance of the US is inseparable from its structural power, it can be justified in the following manner:
i). The hegemon shapes the basic global economy in a particular manner aS
the US provided the Bretton Woods system after Second World War.
ii). We can regard the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the products of American hegemony.

Q6. In reference of structural power mention the global public goods by which the US established its hegemony?

Answer: The global public goods can be consumed by one person without reducing the amount of the goods available for someone else:
i). Sea lanes of communications (SLoCs) is the naval power of the hegemon to underwrite the law of the sea and to ensure freedom of navigational international waters. These sea routes are commonly used by merchant ships.
ii). Internet is the direct outcome of a US military research project that began in 1950. Even today, internet relies on a global network of satellites.

Q7. How does India maintain its relations with the US during post Cold War?

Answer: After the collapse of Soviet Union India decided to liberalise its economy and integrate it with global economy. India’s impressive economic growth rate made India an attractive economic partner for the US due to its technological dimensions and the role of Indian- American diaspora. These two factors are interrelated in the following ways:
i). The US absorbs about 65 per cent of India’s total exports in the software sector.
ii). 35 per cent of the technical staff of Boeing is estimated to be of Indian origin.
iii). 300,000 Indians work in Silicon Valley.
iv). 15 per cent of all high-tech start ups are by Indian-Americans.

Q8. Explain the strategies which, may be performed by India to maintain Indo-US relations.

Answer: In today’s scenario India is supposed to decide what type of relations to have with the US. Moreover, the three strategies have been debated by Indian analysts:
i). Indian analysts observed military nature of US hegemony and suggested that India should maintain its aloofness from Washington and focus upon increasing its own comprehensive national power.
ii). The analysts secondly suggest that India should take advantage of the US hegemony and the mutual convergences to establish the best possible options for itself in future perspective.
iii). The third strategy is suggested that India should lead in establishing a coalition from the developing countries to become powerful and work out in weaning the hegemon away from its dominating ways. Moreover, it cannot be concluded that India may opt for one strategy to maintain Indo-US relations, but it needs a mix of strategies to maintain its own identity.


Long Answer Type Questions [6 Marks]

Q1. Examine any three factors responsible for the US hegemony in the world politics.

Answer: Three factors responsible for the US hegemony in the world politics are
(i) The US power lies in the overwhelming superiority of its military power. American military dominance today is both absolute and relative. In absolute terms, the US today has military capabilities that can reach any point on the planet accurately, lethally and in real time, thereby crippling the adversary while its own forces are sheltered to the maximum extent possible from the dangers of war.
(ii) No other power today can remotely match them. The US today spends
more on its military capability than the next 12 powers combined. Further more, a large chunk of the Pentagon’s budget goes into military research and development, or, in other words, technology. Thus, the military dominance of the US is not just based on higher military spending, but on a qualitative gap, a technological chasm that no other power can at present conceivably span.
(iii) The US invasion of Iraq shows that the American capacity to conquer is formidable. Similarly the US capability to deter and to punish is self-evident. More than forty countries joined in the US-led ‘coalition of the willing’ after the UN refused to give its mandate to theinvasion. Thus, no country can deny the US superiority in the world politics.

Q2. Explain the three types of US hegemony and give examples for each.

Answer: GO Hegemony as Hard Power:
(a) This hegemony signifies military status of America to be both absolute and relative. In absolute terms, it has military capabilities to reach any point on the Planet accurately and no other power today can remotely match them.
(b) The US military dominance is based on both the higher military expenditure and on a qualitative gap i.e. technological know-how.
(ii) Hegemony as Structural Power:
(a) It signifies ‘Economic Prospects’ of hegemon power to possess both the ability and the desire to establish certain norms for order and sustain global structure even including goods to be consumed by one person without reducing the amount of goods available for someone else.
(b) A classical example is academic
degree MBA (Masters in Business Administration) to presume business as a profession to be dependent upon skills that can be taught in a University which is uniquely American.
(iii) Hegemony as Soft Power:
(a) US Hegemony has its cultural dimensions also which implies class ascendancy in social, political and particularly ideological spheres to shape the behaviour of competing and lesser powers.Here, the consent goes hand in and more effective than coercion.
(b) For example, most of the dreams of individuals and societies across the globe, are dreams churned out by practices prevailing in twentieth—century America. All these are about the capacity to manufacture consent.

Q3. What are different natures of hegemony? Explain.

Answer: Hegemony is an international system to dominate world by only one superpower. The natures of hegemony can be found out as follows:
(i) Hegemony as Hard Power:
(a) It is based on the military capability between the states.
(b) The US military dominance is based on their higher expenditures on military as well as the technological know-how.
(c) The US bears military dominance in both the terms i.e. absolute and relative. In absolute terms the US military capabilities can reach any point on the planet and no other power can be a match to them.
(ii) Hegemony as Structural Power:
(a) It is based on economic factors of the world dominated by the hegemonic power.
(b) Hegemony must sustain global structure to establish certain norms for order and the US has set up Bretton Woods System.
(c) The US hegemony has provided the global public goods to be consumed by one person without reducing the amount available for someone else as SLoCs and the Internet, MBA degree.
(iii) Hegemony as Soft Power:
(a) To dominate world even in reference of cultural dimensions i.e. class ascendancy in social, political and ideological spheres.
(b) The US hegemony has the capacity to create ‘manufacturing consent’ by the class to be dominated by the hegemon.
(c) The ‘blue jeans’ from the US is capable to engineer even a generational divide.

Q4. How can the US hegemony be checked?
Or
How long will hegemony last? How do we get beyond hegemony?

Answer: (i) The US hegemony has been symbolised as the global village and other countries as its neighbours.
(ii) If the headman of global village becomes intolerable, neighbours do not have any choice of leaving it, but develop a resistant.
(iii) Though there are some rules and norms called laws of war that restrict but do not prohibit war.
(iv) No single power can challenge the US militarily.
Still, to overcome the US hegemony, the following strategies have been found out: (a) Bandwagon strategy emphasises not to oppose hegemonic power, instead take advantage of opportunities that hegemon creates i.e. increased trade and technology transfer and investments to extract benefits by operating within hegemonic system. (.b) To hide strategy implies to stay as far removed from the dominant power as possible as China, Russia and the European Union. This strategy is applicable to small states but states may not be able to hide for substantial length of time.
(c) Non-state actors as writers, artists and intellectuals have no boundaries to work with. They can reach beyond the limits of the states to mould the minds of people through their expressions.

Q5. What is meant by Operation Iraqi Freedom? Mention its main and hidden objectives. Give any two consequences of this operation.

Answer: Operation Iraqi Freedom was the code name given by the US to launch invasion on 19 March 2003. More than 40 countries joined in the US led coalition of the willing after the UN refused to give its mandate to the invasion.
Main Objective: To prevent Iraq from developing Weapons of Mass Destructions (WMD). Since no evidence of WMD has been unearthed in Iraq. Hidden Objective: It was motivated by controlling Iraqi Oilfields and installing a regime friendly to the US. Consequences of this Operation

  1. Although the government of Saddam Hussein fell swiftly but US has not been able to pacify Iraq.
  2. A fully fledged insurgency against US occupation was ignited in. Iraq.
  3. Conservatively estimated that 50,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US-led invasion.
  4. It is widely recognised that the US invasion of Iraq was, in some crucial respects, both a military and political failure.

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