The concept of hegemony, which is used in “Critical Theory” and which was borrowed from Antonio Gramsci and adapted to the discipline of International Relations by Robert Cox, refers to the system of relations that states form voluntarily –not by force- around a certain state by confirming its influence. The history of international relations shows that some states or groups of states managed to in-crease their power and capabilities to an extent that they could shape the way interstate relations operate. They managed to acquire nearly as much power and capability as other actors in the system could generate by forming coalitions against them, and they maintained their hegemonic positions until the rise of a new great power. With the demise of British hegemony after the World War II, the USA became the new hegemonic power in the international system acquiring the power and capability to shape the international rules and norms according to her own motivations and demands. In this respect, the political and cultural elements among the sources of the current US hegemony in the international system are of essential importance. In this study, by discussing the phenomenon of hegemony in international relations, the concept of “Manifest Destiny”, or in other words “American Exceptionalism”, which is the political and cultural source of the US he-gemony, will be addressed.
Hegemony, the USA, Manifest Destiny, American Exceptionalism