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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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Hegemony in Regional Order: East Asia

Hegemony in Regional Order: East Asia

(p.177) 8 Hegemony in Regional Order: East Asia
Hegemony in International Society

Ian Clark (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The second case looks at the region of East Asia, again frequently described as having been hegemonic, mostly reflecting the widespread US alliances in the area. Much of the contemporary debate is about whether the region is now undergoing a power transition, as China's economy has bounced back quickly from the global recession, and it has been seen as a powerful motor of regional economic integration ever since the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s. Is the USA losing any hegemony in the region, or simply its primacy in the face of greater multipolarity? The chapter considers the debates about current regional order, and whether it is being led by regional small-power initiatives, such as through ASEAN, or by great-power initiatives coming from China or the USA. Its main conclusion is that any US hegemony in the region has always been incomplete, and a singular hegemony seems precarious for the future. A coalitional hegemony would be deeply divisive, as it would exclude China. Hence, the most plausible future model is a form of collective hegemony, one that is multilayered and displays a complex hierarchy.

Keywords:   ASEAN, China, Concert, financial crisis, hierarchy, Japan, multipolarity, power transition, regional integration, US alliances

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