Listening: A New American Century?
Listen to a conversation about America's role in the 21st century.
The 20th century has been called 'the American Century'. Listen to three people - Lewis, an American, and Don and Sandy, both from England - discussing whether or not the USA will remain in the centre of world events in the 21st century. They also talk about the future of American democracy and what will happen to 'the special relationship' between the USA and the United Kingdom.
- Why are 9/11 and the global recession mentioned at the start?
- Why does Lewis suggest that you cannot compare the situation of the USA today with the situation the UK was in a century ago?
- When does Lewis feel that real challenges to American predominance may start to occur and why does he suggest that it might take this long?
- Which countries could challenge American economic power in the future?
- Lewis claims that American democracy is 'at war with itself'. What does he mean?
- Will the special relationship between the USA and Britain continue? What could threaten this relationship, according to the speakers? What could strengthen it?
Discussion in groups:
- What positive qualities of the American society do you hope will be continued even if the US should lose its dominant position in the world?
- What position do you think the UK will have in the world in the future?