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A brief overview of Cox’s article
Michael Cox’s article is devoted to America’s political power and influence all over the world. The author specifies how the major political events the world experienced increased US international influence. US military supremacy is regarded as the key argument in Cox’s conception of a powerful American Empire. However, it should be noted that the idea of US international power is considered to be rather ambiguous. For instance, the author gives readers an opportunity to trace back not only a variety of events America took part in but also the consequences of these events for the country’s future. According to the author, acting like the British and Romans is the most appropriate way to establish a new political era. Therefore, the cruel war of peace is recognized to be the most effective way the USA relies on order “to protect and enlarge the empire of liberty” (Boot 2002).
The idea of an American Empire as a hotly debated issue
Some of the historians are of the opinion that the United States cannot be accepted as an empire on the basis of several reasons. These involve other nations’ power, the impact of global economic growth, territorial divisions, and the general complexity of the world.
Cox is deeply concerned about theoretical weaknesses and dangerous policy implications in relation to the discussed idea. Thus, the author’s viewpoint on the idea of American imperialism seems to be quite aggressive, as he clarifies that the phrase an American Empire should not be associated with world domination. In other words, there is an incorrect understanding of the term, which prevents a proper understanding of the idea of an American Empire.
The US economy in relation to other countries
The key actor’s Cox points out in his article are Europe and China. Thus, he highlights their importance within economic perspectives. On the other hand, the author also analyses the economic power the USA possesses. He provides readers with certain statistical data on the US economy in relation to the whole world. The government of the USA affects shaping the material environment. Cox explains that the United States’ economic power is extremely important, as the fate of the world depends upon the American Empire. So, when speaking about the war in Iraq, one is to keep in mind that in this war, the USA thinks about the whole world, as the country’s military actions will allow reducing oil prices for all nations. To assure readers of his conclusions, Cox refers to the opinion of Wade on the US power in relation to the international system. Thus, according to Wade (2003), “America has the ability to determine the fate of the region, and by so doing, reinforce its central role in the wider world system.”
Any empire has two ways to follow: on the one hand, if an empire is able just to repress or exploit – it will not survive (Cox 2004); on the other hand, keeping the interests of others can bring about many positive outcomes. It seems to be evident that American follows the second way. In other words, one can probably conclude that despite temporary difficulties America experiences, its future is not bleak. Taking into account the country’s military and economic power, one can state that the American Empire has a long way to go.
Boot, M 2002, The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power, Basic Books: New York.
Cox, M 2004, ‘Empire by Denial? Debating US Power’, Security Dialogue, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 228-236.
Wade, R 2003, ‘The Invisible Hand of the American Empire’, Ethics & International Affairs, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 77-88.