David Coates (auth.)'s America in the Shadow of Empires PDF

By David Coates (auth.)

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19 The case for engaging with America as an empire therefore remains a strong one, made by a string of serious scholars of both international relations and post-9/11 US foreign policy. The “new Romans on the Potomac,” as Michael Cox labeled the American political class in the years of George W. ”21 “The ‘Age of Empire’ may indeed have ended,” Eliot Cohen wrote, “but an age of American hegemony has begun. S. ”24 The United States, after all, used force outside its borders more than a hundred times in the nineteenth century alone, invariably insisting as it did so that its purpose was not to conquer people but to liberate them.

Other empires necessarily share a less easy and far less amicable relationship, set into tension with each other not just by territorial ambition but by ideology: the Ottoman against the Venetian in clashes of religion, for example, or the American and the Soviet in clashes of economic ideology. But amicable or hostile, empires are different from nations. Some The Question of Empire 43 nations can and do build empires, but the two concepts are best kept well apart. Nations have recognizable territorial boundaries while empires do not.

Is America in Decline, on the Cusp, or Simply Resting? Pessimism can be carried too far, of course, and a glass described as half empty can also be described as half full. And so for that reason (and no doubt for other reasons too), it is possible to point to many commentators who, poring over the same data we have just surveyed here, remain adamant that it contains no signs of American decline. 120 America, they tell us, is rebounding. Its energy independence is growing. It still leads the world in manufacturing value-added.

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