Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
On Global OrderPower, Values, and the Constitution of International Society$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Andrew Hurrell

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199233106

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233106.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Empire reborn?

Empire reborn?

(p.262) 11 Empire reborn?
On Global Order

Andrew Hurrell

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the relationship between empire and global political order. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section unsettles some of the assumptions that are often made about empire, in particular about the inevitability of the end of empire; the redundancy and outmodedness of empire as a form of political order, and the consequent implication that the natural focus of international relations should be the relations amongst states or nation-states. The sheer extent of the power of the United States and the apparent obviousness of the view that we are living in a unipolar world have brought back the language of empire and have led many to see the United States as an imperial power. The second section considers how we should understand that power. It argues that notions of informal empire provide some analytical purchase, but neglect both the consistently important role of military power and coercion in the evolution of US foreign policy, and the importance of rules, norms, and institutions — what one might call the formal side of so-called informal empire. The third section examines five of the most commonly cited reasons for the demise of both empire and top-down hierarchical conceptions of international order more generally. Rather than comparing the extent and character of US power directly with that of other hegemonic states, it asks how these five factors may have changed in ways that would make a hegemonic order viable and potentially sustainable.

Keywords:   United States, empire, unipolar world, global political order, international relations, international order, US foreign policy

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .