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Undermining American Hegemony
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Book description

Advancing a new approach to the study of international order, this book highlights the stakes disguised by traditional theoretical languages of power transitions and hegemonic wars. Rather than direct challenges to US military power, the most consequential undermining of hegemony is routine, bottom-up processes of international goods substitution: a slow hollowing out of the existing order through competition to seek or offer alternative sources for economic, military, or social goods. Studying how actors gain access to alternative suppliers of these public goods, this volume shows how states consequently move away from the liberal international order. Examining unfamiliar – but crucial – cases, it takes the reader on a journey from local Faroese politics, to Russian election observers in Central Asia, to South American drug lords. Broadening the debate about the role of public goods in international politics, this book offers a new perspective of one of the key issues of our time.


‘What awaits us after American hegemony? Undermining Hegemony helps bring the bleary future into focus. Surrounding the subject to subdue it, the contributors of this volume show how ebbing U.S. influence shifts allegiances, alters autonomy, affects identities, and revises norms. But the arguments go beyond current events to enduring patterns. Anyone looking to understand how states large and small create international order should start with this book. Morton Skumsrud Andersen, Alexander Cooley, and Daniel Nexon have assembled a comprehensive work that is timely and timeless.’

Joseph M. Parent - Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame

‘This volume offers a fascinating analysis of how countries such as China and Russia are seeking to erode US-led liberal international order by contesting the United States’ dominant role in providing global public goods in the economic, security and normative realm. Shedding light on the subject from several different angles, the authors succeed in deepening the reader's understanding of how political orders are maintained by the hegemon and challenged by other powers. The book thus makes a highly relevant contribution to the ongoing debate about the provision of international goods and the future of global order, a topic that has only gained importance in the context of the covid-19 pandemic.’

Oliver Della Costa Stuenkel - Associate Professor, School of International Relations, Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV)

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