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American Power and the Prospects for International Order


The turn of the century has seen the US greatly enhance its military supremacy across the world. It has also played a key role in shaping the international economic order. More recently, however, its world-wide economic domination has started to diminish as other regions and countries have become globally important players.

Simon Bromley brings a fresh perspective to these issues, arguing that it is as yet unclear whether the US will be capable of rising to the challenges posed by the new world order. He carefully examines the intricacies of these debates including the American ideology of a liberal international order and the relation of this to the Bush doctrine; US power in the transatlantic arena and US-European integration in relation to the EU and NATO; and the geo-politics of oil. He looks at a range of challenges to US dominance, including the weakening of the dollar; the rapid growth and industrialization of Asia; and the strengths and weaknesses of Bush’s foreign policy.

This book is set to spark debate amongst students and scholars of international politics, as well as appealing to anyone interested in the changing shape of the international order.

Simon Bromley is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at the Open University.

List of Tables and Figures vii

Preface viii

Introduction: The American Project for a Liberal International Order 1

1 The American Ideology: Modernization Theory and the Neo-Conservatives 8

Introduction 8

What Was Modernization Theory? 10

Containment and ‘Development’ 14

Modernization Theory and World Order 20

Modernity Is Not the ‘End of History’ 31

Modernization Theory, the Neo-Conservatives and the Bush Doctrine 37

Conclusions 50

2 America's Transatlantic Empire: Where in the World Is America? 52

Introduction 52

The American Empire 54

Imperialism 61

Anarchy, Rivalry and Interdependence 66

US Power and the Liberal Capitalist International Order 82

Conclusions 97

3 American Oil, World Oil: Resources, Confl icts, Control and Scarcity 101

Introduction 101

Reasons for War? 103

America's Oil, World Oil 106

OPEC and World Oil 115

The United States and Middle East Oil 118

Reshaping the Greater Middle East 122

The Role of Oil in the New Middle East Strategy 135

Carry on Driving? 143

Conclusions 148

4 American Power, the Future of the Dollar and the Challenge of China 149

Introduction 149

International Money 151

From Fixed to Floating Exchange Rates 160

Resurgent Asia 173

Containing China? 185

Conclusions 199

Conclusion: The Prospects for a Liberal International Order 202

Notes 211

Bibliography 226

Name Index 237

Subject Index 240