Shortly after the end of the Cold War, Washington left little doubt that it intended to create a world system that reflected the USA’s ideology. In 1993, Anthony Lake, President Bill Clinton's national security advisor, announced that the USA was determined to carry out Woodrow Wilson's mission. “[E] nlargement of the world's free community of market democracies,” noted Lake, lay at the heart of Wilson's foreign policy. Finally, after a long and arduous struggle, first againt fascism and subsequently against communism, the USA was on a position to realize the former president's dream. “The expansion of market-based economies abroad,” explained Lake, “helps expand our exports and create American jobs, while it also improves living conditions and fuels demands for political liberalization abroad. The addition of new democracies makes us more secure because democracies tend not to wage war on each other or sponsor terrorism … ”2

From early on, the Clinton administration moved rapidly to regain the ground the USA had surrendered in the global economy during the Cold War. Paradoxically, it was Japan, one of Washington’s savviest competitors, that first granted the USA the opportunity to reclaim its standing as the world’s most efficient economy. By the late 1980s, much of the world had concluded that the East Asian

economies, led by Japan, had crafted a new political economic model-one that guaranteed political stability and rapid economic growth with relative equity. Their success was built on a rather simple formula. To become an effective participant in the global market, the state had to shield its home market from foreign competition and help its domestic firms become powerful and effective international competitors. The state intervened not by taking over the economy, but by erecting trade barriers, facilitating credit and investment, ensuring high saving rates, keeping inflation low, promoting

exports, and fostering education attentive to the skills required by industrialization. Moreover, the state promoted political stability by relying on varying degrees of regulated politics, from dictatorship to a one-party system, and by rewarding their citizens’ commitment to the common cause with relatively equitable economic reforms from the proceeds of economic growth.3