The Struggle for Order: Hegemony, Hierarchy, and Transition in Post-Cold War East Asia

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    How has world order changed since the Cold War ended? Do we live in an age of American empire, or is global power shifting to the East with the rise of China? Arguing that existing ideas about balance of power and power transition are inadequate, this book instead conceives of an 'order transition' that has occurred in East Asia since 1989. Building on advances in 'English School' approaches, this book highlights that hegemonic power is based on both coercion and consent, and hegemony is crucially underpinned by shared norms and values. Thus hegemons must constantly legitimize their unequal power to other states. In periods of strategic change, the most important political dynamics centre on this bargaining process, conceived here as the negotiation of a social compact. This book studies the re-negotiation of this consensual compact between the U.S., China and other states in post-Cold War East Asia. It analyses institutional bargains to constrain and justify power; attempts to re-define the relationship between a regional community and the global economic order; the evolution of great power authority in regional conflict management; and the salience of competing justice claims in memory disputes. It finds that U.S. hegemony has been established in East Asia in spite of China's rise, because of the complicity of key regional states. But the new social compact also makes room for rising powers and satisfies smaller states' insecurities. The book controversially proposes that the East Asian order is hegemonic and hierarchical - led by the U.S. but incorporating China, Japan, and other states in multiple tiers below it.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages288
    ISBN (Print)9780199599363
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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