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America's Inadvertent Empire

America's Inadvertent Empire
William E. Odom & Robert Dujarric
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004
JK31 .O34 2004

The United States finds itself at the center of an empire of a new type, wealth-generating and voluntary, not a traditional imperial system, say the authors of this compelling book. Willam E. Odom and Robert Dujarric examine America's unprecedented power within the international arenas of politics, economics, demographics, education, science, and culture. They argue persuasively that the major threat to this unique empire is ineffective U.S. leadership, not a rising rival power center.

America cannot simply behave as an ordinary sovereign state, Odom and Dujarric contend. They describe the responsibilities that accompany staggering power advantages, and they explain that resorting to unilateralism makes sense only when it becomes necessary to overcome paralysis in multilateral organizations. The authors also offer insights into the importance of liberal international institutions as a source of power, why international cooperation pays, and why spreading democracy often inhibits the spread of constitutional order. If the United States uses its own power constructively, the authors conclude, the American empire will flourish for a long time.

Quoted from dust jacket.