Good-Bye Hegemony!: Power and Influence in the Global System
Richard Ned Lebow, Simon Reich
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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.
bargaining that was universally applicable. To do so, he focused on tacit bargaining, undeniably the most original part of his approach. However, like American policy of that era, his efforts represented yet another attempt to find a technical solution to a cultural and political problem. His discussion of “natural” boundaries—which led him to compare the Rio Grande to the Yalu—is a case in point. It fails to recognize how subjective such gestalts really are. They take on meaning not from their
World, 1965–1990 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994). 58 Richard Ned Lebow, The Art of Bargaining (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996); Lebow and Stein, We All Lost the Cold War, chap. 6. 59 Thomas Schelling, Strategy of Conflict, 174. 60 Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1979). 61 Kenneth N. Waltz, “The Emerging Structure of International Politics,” International Security 18, no. 2 (1993): 44–79; Charles A. Kupchan,
Holdings of US Treasuries Revised Up 30%; An Unsustainable Model,” Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis, 1 March 2011, http://www.safehaven.com/article/20135/china-holdings-of-us-treasuries-revised-up-30-an-unsustainable-model (accessed 13 June 2011). 94 “Major Foreign Holders of US Treasury Securities,” http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/tic/Documents/mfh.txt (accessed 27 January 2013); “US National Debt Clock,” http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock (accessed 27 January
far-right groups have been powerful enough to assume power and institute antidemocratic reforms. Dissatisfaction in general remains high in Europe, and by May 2011, voters had turned eleven European governments out of office. Thus, notions of a “gentler, kinder Europe,” or of a uniform one, can easily be exaggerated and at times seem downright misplaced. There are contending visions of what Europe is and should become that dictate different approaches to neighboring countries and the rest of the
in different regions have made different choices about their appropriate roles in this connection. European actors increasingly and consciously focus on expanding their normative influence by advocating a series of global reforms in a variety of policy areas. China, by contrast, has focused more on custodial functions designed to sustain a system that may have been constructed by the United States, but from which it and its Asian partners are now among the primary beneficiaries. The United