Beyond Great Powers and Hegemons: Why Secondary States Support, Follow or Challenge

Beyond Great Powers and Hegemons: Why Secondary States Support, Follow or Challenge

Beyond Great Powers and Hegemons: Why Secondary States Support, Follow or Challenge

Beyond Great Powers and Hegemons: Why Secondary States Support, Follow or Challenge

Synopsis

This book adds a new dimension to the discussion of the relationship between the great powers and the weaker states that align with them- or not. Previous studies have focused on the role of the larger (or super) power and how it manages its relationships with other states, or on how great or major powers challenge or balance the hegemonic state. Beyond Great Powers and Hegemons seeks to explain why weaker states follow more powerful global or regional states or tacitly or openly resist their goals, and how they navigate their relationships with the hegemon. The authors explore the interests, motivations, objectives, and strategies of these 'followers'- including whether they can and do challenge the policies and strategies or the core position of the hegemon.

Through the analysis of both historical and contemporary cases that feature global and regional hegemons in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South Asia, and that address a range of interest areas- from political, to economic and military- the book reveals the domestic and international factors that account for the motivations and actions of weaker states.

Excerpt

This book emerged from a series of discussions that the editors initiated in 2003 about the limitations of hegemony resulting from challenges by secondary states. We recognized that the majority of the literature on great powers and hegemons focused on their motives and strategies for fending off other great power challengers and rivals. In adding a new dimension to the discussion, this book focuses on the responses to global and regional hegemons by secondary and tertiary powers, and particularly their motives, objectives, and interests. Unlike other authors, not only do we discuss the limitations of hegemony, but this volume also examines the domestic and international factors that motivate the rest of the powers. Secondary and tertiary states rarely challenge global and regional hegemons directly and must find other ways to respond. Our overarching question is: Why do states follow, or not, the hegemon? To explain the motivations and strategies of these states, we develop three explanatory frameworks and examine them in the case studies: realist arguments and the role of material power distributions (both global and regional), the role of domestic politics, and liberal institutionalist theories and the role of international organizations and global norms. We examine the strategies and motivations of the followers, which range from opposing the hegemon to accommodating it, and the specific strategies including hard balancing, soft balancing, blackmail, leash slipping, binding, bonding, and bandwagoning. In examining these responses to the hegemon, the chapters also highlight the process of negotiation and renegotiation of the relationship between hegemons and followers.

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