Carla Norrlof’s research interests are International Relations and International Political Economy. She is particularly interested in great powers, particularly US hegemony in the areas of security, finance and trade.
Currently, Norrlof is pursuing collaborative work on economics and security as well as on hegemonic order studies (Princeton workshops) and US-China security relations.
Norrlof’s book on American hegemony challenged the prevailing wisdom that other states benefit more from US hegemony than the United States itself. By analyzing America’s structural advantages in trade, money, and security, and the ways in which these advantages reinforce one another, Norrlof shows how and why America benefits from being the dominant power in the world. Contrary to predictions of American decline, she argues that the US will maintain its privileged position for the foreseeable future. The book addresses obstacles that states, as well as coalitions of states in East Asia and Europe, face when trying to promote a more equitable distribution of benefits and influence, thus demonstrating that power shifts are not necessarily facilitated by the hegemon’s relative decline.
Norrlof’s research is also on global currencies and financial markets. Her work on the international currency system examines the material foundations of the dollar’s international role and how interests and power sustain it.
In addition to these projects, she is also involved in collaborative research on “International Relations and Global Climate Change” (The Graduate Institute of International Studies and Development and Potsdam University).