The aim of the article is to discuss the role of education in relation to the new imperialism. The article begins by explaining what is meant by the term the 'new imperialism' and how it differs from older forms of European imperialism characterized by colonial rule. The new imperialism is presented as having material and discursive aspects although it is the discursive basis of western rule and how this affects education that forms the major focus for the article. Using Foucault's theory of governmentality, the new imperialism is presented as the incorporation of low-income countries and regions that were previously subject to older forms of European imperialism into a new regime of global governance which serves to secure the interests of the USA, its western allies and of global capitalism more generally. The article then analyses the concept of 'development' which has provided the principal means by which the West has come to understand and hence control the non-West. The article then turns to a consideration of education as a key policy area for the multilateral development agencies and an important disciplinary institution in relation to the development project. The article concludes by briefly setting out a possible role for education in a new anti-imperial politics.