A hyperpower is a state that dominates all other states in every domain (i.e., military, culture, economy, etc.);[1] it has no rivals that can match its capabilities, considered to be a step higher than a superpower.

Although the United States has arguably exhibited the traits of a hyperpower in the post-Cold War era, its global influence has begun to decline relative to other potential superpowers.[2][3] More specifically, 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.[4][5][6][7]


The British journalist Peregrine Worsthorne coined the term in a Sunday Telegraph article published March 3, 1991.[8] After the end of the Cold War with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, some political commentators felt that a new term needed to describe the United States' position as the lone superpower.[9][10][11] 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 countered. 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 defeat the entire Mediterranean area militarily, culturally, and economically.[12]

See also


  1. ^ "Definition of 'hyperpower'". Collins Dictionary. Collins. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "To Paris, U.S. Looks Like a 'Hyperpower'". International Herald Tribune. February 5, 1999. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  3. ^ Richard, Wike (2011-09-07). "From Hyperpower to Declining Power". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 2021-11-17.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Institute, Lowy. "Map – Lowy Institute Asia Power Index". Lowy Institute Asia Power Index 2023. Retrieved 2023-02-12.
  5. ^ Walt, Stephen M. "How to Ruin a Superpower". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  6. ^ "America's innovation edge now in peril, says Baker Institute, American Academy of Arts and Sciences report". news.rice.edu. Archived from the original on 2020-10-28. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  7. ^ "China will overtake US in tech race". OMFIF. 2019-10-22. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  8. ^ McFedries, Paul (February 25, 2002). "hyper-power". Word Spy. Logophilia Limited. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  9. ^ Nossal, Kim Richard (June 29, 1999). "Lonely Superpower or Unapologetic Hyperpower?". Saldanha, Western Cape: South African Political Studies Association. Archived from the original on May 26, 2019. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  10. ^ Reiter, Erich; Hazdra, Peter (March 9, 2013). The Impact of Asian Powers on Global Developments. Springer Science+Business Media. p. 5. ISBN 978-3-662-13172-5. Now though, some people, in whose opinion the term "superpower" does not denote the actual dominance of the USA incisively enough, use the word "hyperpower".
  11. ^ 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 February 11, 2018.
  12. ^ Chua, Amy (January 6, 2009). Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance—and Why They Fall. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-47245-8.