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A hyperpower is a state that dominates all other states in every domain (i.e. military, culture, economy)[1] and is considered to be a step higher than a superpower. The term refers at present to the United States due to its status as the world's current sole superpower.[2]

In recent times, the United States, as a global power, no longer dominates in every domain (i.e. military, culture, economy, technology, diplomatic) in every region of the world.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] According to the Asia Power Index 2020, the United States still takes the lead on the military capacity, cultural influence, resilience and defense networks, but falls behind China in four parameters of economic resources, future resources, economic relationships and diplomatic influence across eight measures. This index ranks power and influence only across Indo-Pacific, and is therefore not applicable to the global definition of a hyperpower.[11]


The British journalist Peregrine Worsthorne coined the term in a Sunday Telegraph article published March 3, 1991.[12] After the end of the Cold War with the Dissolution of the Soviet Union, some political commentators felt that a new term was needed to describe the United States' position (Pax Americana) as the lone superpower.[13][14][15] French foreign minister Hubert Védrine popularized the term in 1998, because from France's position, the United States looked like a hyperpower, although the validity of classifying the United States in this way was disputed.[2]

The term has also been applied retroactively to dominant states of the past. In her book Day of Empire, American professor Amy Chua suggests that the Achaemenid Empire, the Tang dynasty, the Roman Empire, the Mongol Empire, the Dutch Empire, and the British Empire were successful examples of historical hegemons; the Spanish Monarchy, Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and Third Reich were counters; and she reflects on assertions that the United States is a modern hyperpower. In a historical context, it is usually understood to mean a power that greatly exceeds any others in its political environment along several axes; Rome did not dominate Persia, Ancient India or China, but did dominate the entire Mediterranean area militarily, culturally, and economically.[16]


  1. ^ "Definition of 'hyperpower'". Collins Dictionary. Collins. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ a b "To Paris, U.S. Looks Like a 'Hyperpower'". International Herald Tribune. February 5, 1999. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "Should We Compete With China? Can We?". The Unz Review. 2019-10-14. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Asia Power Index| US". power.lowyinstitute.org. Retrieved . The United States remains the most powerful country in the region but registered the largest fall in relative power of any Indo-Pacific country in 2020. A ten-point overall lead over China two years ago has been narrowed by half in 2020.
  5. ^ "Patrick Cockburn: The US has faced decline before - but nothing like what's to come". The Independent. 2020-03-27. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "From Hyperpower to Declining Power". Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project. 2011-09-07. Retrieved .
  7. ^ Walt, Stephen M. "How to Ruin a Superpower". Foreign Policy. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Hiro, Dilip (2016-10-11). "Think the US Is the Foremost Global Superpower? Think Again". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "America's innovation edge now in peril, says Baker Institute, American Academy of Arts and Sciences report". news.rice.edu. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "China will overtake US in tech race". OMFIF. 2019-10-22. Retrieved .
  11. ^ Institute, Lowy. "China - Lowy Institute Asia Power Index". Lowy Institute Asia Power Index 2020. Retrieved .
  12. ^ McFedries, Paul (February 25, 2002). "hyper-power". Word Spy. Logophilia Limited. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ Nossal, Kim Richard (June 29, 1999). "Lonely Superpower or Unapologetic Hyperpower?". Saldanha, Western Cape: South African Political Studies Association. Retrieved 2010.
  14. ^ Reiter, Erich; Hazdra, Peter (March 9, 2013). The Impact of Asian Powers on Global Developments. Springer Science+Business Media. p. 5. ISBN 9-783-6621-3172-5. Now though, some people, in whose opinion the term "superpower" does not denote the actual dominance of the USA incisively enough, use the term "hyperpower".
  15. ^ Cohen, Eliot A. (July 1, 2004). "History and the Hyperpower". Foreign Affairs. Council on Foreign Relations. 83 (4): 49-63. doi:10.2307/20034046. JSTOR 20034046. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ Chua, Amy (January 6, 2009). Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance--and Why They Fall. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9-780-3074-7245-8.

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