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Illusions of Empire

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Stephanie Albiero

on 16 April 2010

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Transcript of Illusions of Empire

Defining the New American Order Illusions of Empire: The "E" World The Global Racket Pax Americana Imperial Insecurity Balancing Act Empire Unravelling G. John Ikenberry
Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrow of Empire


The U.S, a military empire

Risks to: - corrode democracy
- bankrupt the nation
- spark opposition
- end in a Soviet-style collapse

An "international protection racket"

The end of the Cold War: - an opportunity
- a crisis

Niall Ferguson, Colosus

The US, a liberal empire

Maintain peace
Ensure Freedom
Manage a system of international trade and finance
Uphold rules & regulations

Settled in the name of anti-imperialism

Sovereign but failed states need more of this American liberal empire
Benjamin Barber, Fear's Empire


Empire as a temptation

Appealing to law VS Undermining it

The American empire is not sustainable if driven by military action and fear of terrorism

Logic of globalization is above the logic of empire

Need for a cosmopolitan order of universal law (Lex Humana) Michael Mann, Incoherent Empire



"New imperialism"

Danger of unilateral military power







4 types of power drive the rise and fall of states: - military
- political
- economical
- ideological

The world complains more and more about "cultural imperialism" and US aggression

Emmanuel Todd, After the Empire


The US power is already in decline

Emergence of new power centers

The worldwide spread democracy is showing resistance toward the US

"Economically dependent and politically useless" The US, a producer of world order, open and rule-based

At the international level: a near monopoly on the use of force
At the domestical level: institutions and behaviors are open to global scrutinity

The US- led order is a negociated system
- Providing public goods
- Exercising through rules and institutions
- Giving "voice opportunities"

Put at the service of an expanding system of democracy and capitalism

Hierarchical and sustained by economic and military power

How extensive and deeply rooted are these caracteristics? Is the US an Empire?


The notion of empire is misleading

More like a US- led democratic political order without any historical precedent

Neoconservative's imperial vision founded on illusion of US power

American imperial pretentions are limited

Creation and extention of international institutions that have limited AND legitimate US power

Americans are less interested in ruling the world than they are creating a world of rules
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