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The place of American empire: Amerasian territories and late American Modernity

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Imperialism rarely receives discussion in mainstream philosophy. In radical philosophy, where imperialism is analyzed with some frequency, European expansion is the paradigm. This essay considers the nature and specificity of American imperialism, especially its racialization structures, diplomatic history, and geographic trajectory, from pre-twentieth century "Amerasia" to present-day Eurasia. The essay begins with an account of imperialism generally, one which is couched in language consistent with left-liberalism but compatible with a more radical discourse. This account is then used throughout the rest of the essay to illumine, through consideration of US foreign policy, structures of American dominion in Latin America, the Pacific, and Asia--and subsequently Eurasia. The overall analytic and geographic portrait offers critical context for both philosophy of race, which tends to be domestically oriented, and just war theory, which tends to ignore wider structures of diplomatic domination.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Philosophy University of San Francisco San Francisco CA USA

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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