Power, Public Diplomacy, and the Pax Americana

  • Peter van Ham
Part of the Studies in Diplomacy and International Relations book series (SID)


An idea is roaming the world, the idea of an American Empire. Like Marx’s spectre of revolution, the possibility of a Pax Americana is either welcomed, or looked at with great concern. Some states support the United States because they consider it a particularly benign, liberal power, whose values and policies they share. Others resent the US’s power predominance, often violently. These states accuse the US of playing ‘Globocop’, engaged in a dangerous and risky game of global social engineering. The argument about the role of the United States in the world has seldom been more controversial than today, both within the US and outside. Since the US is the primus inter pares within the international community, and also considers itself more equal than others, the idea of ‘empire’ has again emerged as a metaphor and model. ‘Empire’ has quickly turned into the infamous ‘e-word’ of US foreign policy: hotly debated, but also often misread.


Foreign Policy Middle East Bush Administration Soft Power Muslim World 
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© Peter van Ham 2005

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  • Peter van Ham

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