The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism

Living Edition
| Editors: Immanuel Ness, Zak Cope

Dollar Hegemony

  • Duccio BasosiEmail author
Living reference work entry


“Dollar hegemony” is a loosely defined phrase, usually referred to historically determined contexts in which the US dollar is adopted as the main international reserve instrument, unit of account, and means of payment. Throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first century, it has been used to describe a number of different situations, namely some regional contexts in the Atlantic area in the 1920s and 1930s, the non-Communist world between 1945 and 1989, and the entire global economy afterwards. While originally used almost exclusively in the journalistic jargon in continental Europe, the phrase has progressively “gained currency” with broader audiences, globalizing in both a linguistic and a social sense.

As will be discussed in the sections below, if “hegemony” were measured only in numbers, it would seem fair to claim that the dollar enjoyed a hegemonic condition in progressively larger geographical contexts starting from the 1920s and that it is keeping it today:...

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Culturali ComparatiCa’ Foscari University of VeniceVeneziaItaly