Modern Empire

Richard W. Miller

in Globalizing Justice

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199581986
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723247 | DOI:
Modern Empire

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As a basis for investigations of imperial responsibilities, this chapter presents a construal of the metaphor ‘the American empire,’ and argues that this usage fits current facts of power. In this usage, the empire rests on three mutually reinforcing types of domineering influence: prerogatives (such as special powers due to the global role of the dollar), threat influence (such as the threats of reduced market access used in shaping the world trade regime) and the exercise, direct and sponsored, of destructive power. The existence of the American empire is identified with the fact that the United States government has substantial domineering influence, ultimately based on all three types of power, throughout the world, more so than any other country, and uses it to shape lives in many developing countries, directly or through domination of multinational institutions. Specific mechanisms that shape national trajectories in developing countries, including structural adjustment, are described in detail.

Keywords: empire; imperialism; American empire; domination; multilateral institutions; structural adjustment

Chapter.  12708 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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