Empire, Hegemony, and the U.S. Policy Mess

post to History News Network, 21 May 2007

The deepening plight of the Bush administration fits into a puzzlingly persistent pattern. The Vietnam-induced collapse of the Johnson presidency was followed by Nixon’s disgrace, dramatic reversals under Carter and then Reagan, and a dizzying search for a post-Cold War conceptual foundation under Bush senior and Clinton. … A more global and comparative perspective on empire and hegemony is needed to help deepen our analysis of this disarray. This approach can also help us move beyond commentary filled with vague references to a U.S. “superpower,” emotive invocations of empire, and casual conflation of empire and hegemony.

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