Asian Review

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This paper revisits hegemonic stability theory to examine whether hegemony, in terms of its major justifications, applies to the United States in the present period. The paper finds that over time, particularly since the end of the Cold War, the role of the United States has increasingly changed from hegemonic stabilization to destabilization. While hegemonic destabilization such as the unleashing of finance capital and military preparedness out of proportion to existing threats, has been noticeable since the Reagan period, recent American policies of aggressive unilateralism and deficit spending have been increasingly destabilizing. This holds implications for how we understand hegemony: should we replace hegemonic stability theory with a theory of hegemonic destabilization? If hegemonic stability made for a "relatively open and stable" global economy, what kind of world does hegemonic destabilization create? This raises the question of hegemonic transition and the configurations emerging as hegemony unravels.



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