The Committment to a Liberal World Market Order as a Hegemonic Practice: The Case of the USA

Christoph Scherrer


The ability of a nation to exert hegemony in world markets rests on the hegemony of a group of internationalists within that nation. In the USA, the hegemony of the internationalists was based on their control of the most productive segments of the economy, on the trade surpluses of the early post-war years, on their ability to secure raw materials from abroad, on the belieft that the Great Depression had been deepened by protectionism, and on anti-communism. Since 1971, trade deficits, and, more recently, the end of the Cold War, have undermined some of these foundations of their hegemony. Yet they were able to contain protectionist challenges and even to achieve further liberalization (e.g. NAFTA)... In this paper I want to explore the reasons for the adherence of the United States to a liberal world market order despite the erosion of the foundations for its original committment. My research will be guided theoretically by the Gramscian concept of hegemony, by the strategic-relational approach to political processes, and by the regulation approach to political economy.

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