Global America: Imposing Liberalism on a Recalcitrant World

By David Mosler; Bob Catley | Go to book overview

1
Considerations of American Power

In the closing years of the twentieth century it became commonplace to describe the United States as the only superpower, the most powerful country in the world, or to decry its efforts to become the world's policeman. During the U.S. bombing--under North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) auspices--of Serbia in April 1999, President Clinton described the United States as the largest country in the world--a mistaken but clearly revealing description: "The United States, as the largest and strongest country in the world at this moment--largest in economic terms and military terms--has the unavoidable responsibility to lead in this increasingly interdependent world, to try to help meet the challenges of this new era." 1

In the late 1990s the U.S. government attempted to refashion China's political and economic structures, sustain an ailing Russian leadership, redraw the map of the Balkans, defend the Middle East oil fields against several threats, contain half a dozen "rogue states", direct the United Nations (UN), NATO, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and sustain a military machine more powerful than those of any other foreseeable combination of states. At the same time its private corporations dominated the dissemination of finance, capital, energy, food, goods, weapons, news, and culture. Yet only a decade ago it was common in the academy to hear of the imminent decline of the United States. This turnabout has deep roots in both the nature of the United States and in the sociology of the literature about the nature of American power.

This book is about the rise of the United States to the status of a great power by the beginning of the twentieth century, its faltering entry into the ranks of major

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Global America: Imposing Liberalism on a Recalcitrant World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Abbreviations and Acronyms vii
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Preface xiii
  • 1 - Considerations of American Power 1
  • 2 - Popular Culture, Corporate Power, Imperial State 31
  • 3 - Domestic Constraints on American Power 61
  • 4 - U.S. Policy in the Middle East 83
  • 5 - Policy in Europe 95
  • 6 - U.S. Policy in the Asia Pacific 123
  • 7 - Challenges to U.S. Hegemony 153
  • 8 - Prospects for the Twenty-First Century 181
  • Bibliography 213
  • Index 216
  • About the Authors 226
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