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America and the Misshaping of a New World Order$
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Giles Gunn and Carl Gutierrez-Jones

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520098701

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520098701.001.0001

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Introduction: The Place of Culture in the Play of International Politics

Introduction: The Place of Culture in the Play of International Politics

(p.1) 1. Introduction: The Place of Culture in the Play of International Politics
America and the Misshaping of a New World Order

Giles Gunn

University of California Press

Conventional orthodoxy in international relations has tended to downplay the effects of culture. This chapter appraises the impacts of culture on international politics and its effects on the construction of world order and models of global governance. America's centrality to the stability and well being of international order has been an accepted truth. The challenge to global governance came from the attacks of September 11, 2001, which was perceived by the American administration and indeed the world as assaults on not just the United States but also some of the supports of the world system itself. President George W. Bush declared war on terrorism by invading Iraq and Afghanistan, which was justified by employing myths oriented around the sacred symbol of freedom or liberty. These missions seemed ideally to combine self-interest with morality. This chapter uncovers the cultural impetus of America's policies, the suicidal attacks of terrorists, and the dynamics of globalization.

Keywords:   effects of culture, models of global governance, American administration, war on terrorism, cultural impetus

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