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Triumphing toward international disaster

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This article situates the Bush administration's new strategy in the historical context of the international capitalist order established by the United States at the end of the 1940s and argues that this order, though extraordinarily successful for some decades, is now in crisis. The unique capitalist international community that the United States established under its primacy revived international capitalism while preventing geopolitical rivalries between the main capitalist centers. The leading sectors of U.S. business have become dependent on the preservation of the unipolar primacy order for its own economic security and expansion while the American domestic political economy has failed to revive as an industrial economy meeting the rules of international economics, exhibiting growing problems with current account deficits and rising levels of debt. To manage the resulting tensions between the orientation of American transnational sectors and problems in the domestic American political economy, the United States has developed an international monetary and financial regime that is destabilizing and dependent upon the preservation of American political primacy over the capitalist world. But the Soviet collapse has destabilized the primacy system, while the dominant sections of American capitalism are committed to rebuilding it. The Bush administration is seeking to rebuild U.S. primacy, using U.S. military dominance. But this carries very high risks.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1467271042000184562

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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