Chapter 9: Building Institutions for Freedom: The Economic Dimension of the ‘War on Terror’
Simon Lee INTRODUCTION Since September 11, 2001, the study of global governance has tended to focus understandably on the political and military consequences of the Bush administration’s aggressively unilateralist approach to ﬁghting the ‘war on terror’. The desire to reintroduce Reaganite moral leadership to the process of global governance and the assembly of a ‘coalition of the willing’ has been associated with the inﬂuence upon American foreign policy of neo-conservatism (PFANAC, 1997, 1998, 2000). Comparatively little attention has been paid to the extent to which neo-conservatism has inﬂuenced the Bush administration’s agenda for world economic development and the international institutions that seek to govern that process. Paradoxically, the Bush administration has deﬁned the war on terror as ‘both a battle of arms and a battle of ideas’ (USGOV, 2006, p. 9). That battle of ideas has included a distinctive neo-conservative political economy, in relation to the role played by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the process of global economic development and governance. However, until the nomination of Paul Wolfowitz to become President of the World Bank in March 2005, the relationship between neo-conservatism and the foreign economic policy of the Bush administration, both in terms of personnel and ideology, had been much less transparent than that between neo-conservatism and national security policy (which Colin Tyler has addressed in Chapter 3). This chapter explores the political economy of neo-conservatism and seeks to identify how the Bush administration’s agenda for the World Bank and...
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