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Good-Bye Hegemony!

Good-Bye Hegemony!: Power and Influence in the Global System

Simon Reich
Richard Ned Lebow
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: STU - Student edition
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    Good-Bye Hegemony!
    Book Description:

    Many policymakers, journalists, and scholars insist that U.S. hegemony is essential for warding off global chaos.Good-Bye Hegemony!argues that hegemony is a fiction propagated to support a large defense establishment, justify American claims to world leadership, and buttress the self-esteem of voters. It is also contrary to American interests and the global order. Simon Reich and Richard Ned Lebow argue that hegemony should instead find expression in agenda setting, economic custodianship, and the sponsorship of global initiatives. Today, these functions are diffused through the system, with European countries, China, and lesser powers making important contributions. In contrast, the United States has often been a source of political and economic instability.

    Rejecting the focus on power common to American realists and liberals, the authors offer a novel analysis of influence. In the process, they differentiate influence from power and power from material resources. Their analysis shows why the United States, the greatest power the world has ever seen, is increasingly incapable of translating its power into influence. Reich and Lebow use their analysis to formulate a more realistic place for America in world affairs.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5042-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  5. Chapter 1 The Wall Has Fallen
    (pp. 1-14)

    In the filmGood Bye Lenin!, an East Berlin mother has a heart attack and falls into a coma. When she revives, many months later, the Berlin Wall has fallen and East Germany is history. The children want to bring her back to their apartment but the doctors are reluctant to let her leave the hospital, as any shock could trigger another infarction. The children promise to provide as unthreatening an environment as possible; they conspire to prevent their mother, who was content under the communist regime, from learning about its demise. They go to increasing lengths to establish and...

  6. Chapter 2 Power and Influence in the Global System
    (pp. 15-50)

    In the 1950s and ’60s, Hans Morgenthau repeatedly criticized international relations (IR) theory for failing to speak truth to power. In his view, the close links among universities, foundations, and government made it relatively easy to co-opt the discipline’s principal spokesmen and to substantially reward those who said and wrote what those in power wanted to hear.¹ There is a more benign explanation for this phenomenon: scholars are products of the same culture as policy makers and are likely to share worldviews. For this latter reason, we believe, many American IR theorists and foreign policy and national security analysts have...

  7. Chapter 3 Europe and Agenda Setting
    (pp. 51-82)

    The quote above from former senator and presidential hopeful Rick Santorum reflects what many Americans think about Europe. Prom inent politicians and realists consider the continent a kind of Lilliputian theme park, run by self-important policy makers whose individual homelands are weak and who have for decades scrambled for cover under America’s nuclear umbrella. These countries, many Americans believe, are populated by lazy workers, overrun by impoverished immigrants, struggling to sustain overindulgent welfare, vacation, and retirement programs, and vulnerable to radical Islamists. They lack the material resources and willpower that once made some of them leading powers and indomitable empires....

  8. Chapter 4 China and Custodial Economic Management
    (pp. 83-130)

    The resurgence of China has become a matter of growing concern for American policy makers and academics. Policy memos, newspaper articles, and academic journals describe China as an emerging behemoth. Analysts sharply disagree about its consequences. Realists generally portray China as a revolutionary power intent on dominating Asia and changing the rules of the global economy to its own benefit at others’ expense. Liberals depict Chinese leaders as focused primarily on economic development and increasingly tamed and constrained by virtue of their country’s growing dependence on foreign markets and investment. Both interpretations are structural and all but ignore Chinese culture...

  9. Chapter 5 America and Security Sponsorship
    (pp. 131-170)

    Sigmund Freud devised the concept ofprojectionto describe the psychological defense mechanism by which people subconsciously deny their desires and emotions and ascribe them to others. Projection reduces anxiety and guilt by allowing the expression of unwanted impulses, desires, or behavior without letting the conscious mind recognize them. Toward these ends, the people on whom attributes are projected are often demonized or punished. Freud described projection as a primitive form of paranoia.¹ Projection has a long history in politics and international relations, where religions, ethnic groups, and nations have been demonized for reasons that have little to do with...

  10. Chapter 6 The Future of International Relations
    (pp. 171-184)

    We have made a series of related conceptual and empirical arguments in this book. First, and foundational, is our interrogation of the concept of hegemony. Second is our contention that the United States has not been a hegemon for a very long time. Third is our finding that the United States often behaves in ways that undermine rather than enhance international stability. Fourth is our claim that the world is shifting toward a division of functions based on contrasting notions of the relationship between power and influence, and that a hegemon is unnecessary for international stability and inappropriate in any...

  11. Index
    (pp. 185-190)