Imperial Excess

Richard W. Miller

in Globalizing Justice

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199581986
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723247 | DOI:
Imperial Excess

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Continuing moral inquiry into the American empire, this chapter argues that the violent initiatives in developing countries characteristic of U.S. foreign policy have been pervasively unjust and that the normal interactions of American elites and the American electorate are bound to give rise to vast and morally unjustified harms in those countries. The tendency of an overriding interest in American power to produce these unjust harms is described through historical narratives, including narratives of high‐level decisionmaking, explained as due to interests, powers and attitudes shaped by political, economic and educational institutions and the major media, and connected with a current crisis of empire. Acknowledging that American hegemony provides important benefits of stability, as well, the chapter concludes that hemming in destructive imperial tendencies is currently the right response, without a wish for the immediate disappearance of the empire.

Keywords: American empire; anti‐imperialism; U.S. foreign policy; American power; hegemony; international violence

Chapter.  12967 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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