In this article the author analyses the rise of the unilateralist imperial project of the George W. Bush administration in the United States and its implications for the developing world. He explains the motivation behind the ‘war on terror’ and the invasion of Iraq. Contrary to prevailing views, the author suggests that US hegemony rests on a fragile economic base. The expanded European Union now represents an economy of the size of that of the US and it enjoys a healthy position in international trade, while the developing Asian region is also gaining ground. The US has been able to engage in deep deficit spending to finance its ‘war on terror’ due to the US dollar's position as the international currency of deposit. However the Euro is now challenging the pre-eminence of the dollar. These factors combine to form the objective basis for a challenge to US unilateralism, but Asia's development gap and political division in Europe mean that the only possible challenge in the short-term to the prevailing imperialist posture of the US must come from inside the superpower.
Journal of International Development (2006) 18 (1) 69-85 [DOI: 10.1002/jid.1263]