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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Security is relative. No state is ever fully safe, just as no individual is ever completely free from danger. However, when U.S. security is considered next to that of any other state, it is hard to reach the conclusion that Washington faces much serious danger. The United States is simultaneously the safest and most fearful of all the great powers of the twenty-first century. This chapter discusses some of the structural and psychological factors that led to the overestimation of danger so common among U.S. analysts and policymakers. Why is it that many serious observers continue to believe that the current era is so dangerous, and even look to the past with a sense of nostalgia? Why do we fear so much?

Keywords: threat inflation, unipolarity, political psychology, neoconservatives, fear

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