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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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Coalitional Hegemony: Pax Americana 1945–1971

Coalitional Hegemony: Pax Americana 1945–1971

(p.123) 6 Coalitional Hegemony: Pax Americana 1945–1971
Hegemony in International Society

Ian Clark (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The final historical case is that of Pax Americana, the supposed role of the USA as a hegemon after 1945. The central argument is that if that were so, the USA was a hegemon in only part of the world. This forms the basis of its presentation as a coalitional model of hegemony, insofar as it constituency was limited in scope. If it provided collective goods, these were club rather than public, and were created within the context of a containment order. However, most of the claims to US hegemony are little more than claims to its primacy. These are also caught up in debates about US decline, and the ambivalent evidence of the crisis of Bretton Woods in 1971. Nonetheless the US did promote a uniquely institutional order, and these can be seen as evidence of a kind of bargain that pointed to a more fundamental institution of hegemony. It also forged a coalition that incorporated a type of state, captured by the notion of embedded liberalism.

Keywords:   Bretton Woods, club goods, coalitional hegemony, containment, decline, embedded liberalism, institutions, Marshall Plan, Pax Americana, primacy, United States

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