Hegemony in International Society

Hardcover | June 12, 2011

byIan Clark

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Can international legitimacy operate even in a deformed balance of power, and when there is only one dominant state? Conventionally, hegemony has been perceived as a threat to international society. But how then is international order to be maintained, if this still requires a managerial roleon the part of the great powers? IR theory has not taken that problem sufficiently seriously. This study makes a sharp distinction between primacy, denoting merely a form of material power, and hegemony, understood as a legitimate practice, and as giving rise to a form of social power. Adopting anEnglish School approach, the author suggests hegemony be considered as one potential institution of international society, and hence as one possible mechanism of international order. The book reviews some relevant historical cases (the Concert of Europe, Pax Britannica and Pax Americana) and argues that, instead of one model of hegemony, these represent several different variants: importantly, each displays its own distinctive legitimacy dynamics. Once these are appreciated,they can help us identify the possible institutional forms of hegemony in contemporary international society. This is done through three cases, examining in turn US policy on the UN Security Council, in East Asia, and on climate change. The overall argument challenges the limited post-Cold Wardebate about primacy, and the equally simplistic projections about the future distribution of power to which it gives rise. In doing so, it offers a major re-thinking of the concept of hegemony in international relations.

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Can international legitimacy operate even in a deformed balance of power, and when there is only one dominant state? Conventionally, hegemony has been perceived as a threat to international society. But how then is international order to be maintained, if this still requires a managerial roleon the part of the great powers? IR theory h...

Ian Clark has been at Aberystwyth University since 1998, having previously taught at the University of Cambridge. He has published many books on the history and theory of international relations, most recently Legitimacy in International Society (2005), and International Legitimacy and World Society (2007). He is a Fellow of the Briti...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:296 pagesPublished:June 12, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199556261

ISBN - 13:9780199556267

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Is Hegemony Compatible with International Society?Part I: A Theory of Hegemony1. Hegemony and IR Theory2. An English-School Theory of Hegemony3. Legitimacy and the Institutional Forms of HegemonyPart II: Hegemony in Historical International Society4. Collective Hegemony: The Concert of Europe 1815-19145. Singular Hegemony: Pax Britannica 1815-19146. Coalitional Hegemony: Pax Americana 1945-71Part III: Hegemony in Contemporary International Society7. Hegemony in International Organization: The UN Security Council8. Hegemony in Regional Order: East Asia9. Hegemony in International Policy: The Climate Change RegimeConclusion: The United States in International SocietyReferencesIndex