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In the waning months of the Cold War, shortly before an expiring Soviet Union finally disintegrated, a group of neoconservative policymakers and intellectuals began to argue that the moment had come to create an American-dominated world order. Some of them called it 'the unipolarist imperative'. Instead of reducing military spending, they contended, the United States needed to expand its military reach to every region of the world, using America's tremendous military and economic power to create a new Pax Americana. This book describes how the ideology of American global preminence originated during the presidency of George H. W. Bush, developed in the 1990s, gained power with the election of George W. Bush, and reshaped American foreign policy after September 11, 2001. Structured as a narrative, this account deals with government policymakers and outside advocates. It tells the story of the development of unipolarist ideology and its role in recent American foreign policy. It makes an argument about the nature and problems of this ideology, emphasizing that an unrivaled superpower makes the whole world its geopolitical neighborhood.
It offers a critique of the unilateralist militarism of the second Bush administration and it contends that the problem of imperial expansiveness, though dramatically heightened by the Bush administration, did not begin with it. The problem is inherent in the anxiety of being a global hegemon.
Gary Dorrien is the Parfet Distinguished Professor at Kalamazoo College. An Episcopal priest, he is the author of eleven books and over one hundred articles that range across the fields of theology, philosophy, social theory, politics, ethics, and history. His recent two volumes, The Making of American Liberal Theology, have been lauded by numerous reviewers as the definitive study of American theological liberalism.