The Collective Logic of (Chinese) Hegemonic Order

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    Darren Lim and John Ikenberry perform a valuable service in fleshing out the theoretical underpinnings of questions that are central to anyone working on international politics and security today: how does China conceive of the problem of international order, and how might China’s domestic political-economic model shape the “logic and organizational principles” of a future Chinese hegemonic order?1 In answering these questions, Lim and Ikenberry offer a conception of order that importantly acknowledges that order is shaped by both interest-driven behaviour and habituated practices. They clearly articulate what is distinct about China’s state-capitalist political-economic model, and they take pains to plot what can be quite a nebulous range of Chinese international ordering ideas. Yet their conception of hegemonic orders – which sees order as emanating from a single hegemonic state’s domestic interests, institutions and practices – results in an overly pessimistic set of conclusions about the future of a potential Chinese hegemonic order. Instead, I suggest we pay attention to the collective foundations of international orders, and rescue pluralism from its unnecessary association with (American) liberalism. Doing so will allow us to better interrogate how China will work with others to shape the future of international order, while still identifng the worrying blind spots in China’s vision for that order.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)146-164
    JournalSecurity Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2024

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