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Hegemony in International Society$
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Ian Clark

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199556267

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199556267.001.0001

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An English School Theory of Hegemony

An English School Theory of Hegemony

(p.34) 2 An English School Theory of Hegemony
Hegemony in International Society

Ian Clark (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter establishes the key working concept of hegemony: its adaptation of English School thinking to present it as a possible institution of international society. It reviews the unsystematic writings of Hedley Bull, Adam Watson, and Martin Wight on hegemony. It then tries to excavate a coherent concept from their other writings, mainly on the balance of power and the role of the great powers. Key to this approach is its acceptance of the role of recognition in the status of the great powers. By analogy, it suggests that hegemony might become a recognized status in conditions of primacy. The English School approach abounds in paradoxes, such as its treatment of war. An English School theory of hegemony is no more paradoxical because it views hegemony both as a threat to international society, but also as a potential instrument for securing its own ends.

Keywords:   Hedley Bull, balance of power, English School, great powers, hegemony, institutions, international society, Adam Watson, Martin Wight

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