To understand these claims about U.S. hegemony, we need some perspective. I would like to compare two competing accounts of the U.S. role in the global economy. In one version, the United States has built an international system that replicates its ideology, culture and values. This is a unipolar world where a broad range of fundamental choices about political and economic structure reflect Washington's preferences. The United States may not make every meaningful decision in administering the world economy, any more than the headquarters of a multinational corporation dictates precisely what its local managers must do. But in this scenario, the United States has final say on all questions that significantly affect its interests. I will call this the hegemon story.
Stephan, Paul B.
"Sheriff or Prisoner? The United States and the World Trade Organization,"
Chicago Journal of International Law:
1, Article 7.
Available at: http://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cjil/vol1/iss1/7