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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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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

America's Mission

America's Mission

(p.28) 2. America's Mission
America and the Misshaping of a New World Order
Ronald Steel
University of California Press

After the implosion of the erstwhile Soviet Union, the world became unipolar, with the United States at its center and Washington as its seat of authority. From its position of economic strength and military invulnerability, the United States had the ability to impose the political order it deemed desirable upon the world. It was even suggested that the United States controlled the course of globalization, or the ways in which it becomes manifest in global power struggles. However, the incidents of 9/11 shattered the illusion of invulnerability that underlay America's approach to the world. Nuclear dominance had become irrelevant against those who conducted warfare at a technologically primitive level. To the people of the West, globalization may mean modernization and the adoption of superior Western social and political values and institutions. But to people in societies emerging from decades of impoverishment and technological backwardness it means using Western technology to liberate themselves from Western domination.

Keywords:   political order, globalization, America's approach, nuclear dominance, western domination

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