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The End of Hegemony

Lecture at Oxford University’s Department of Politics and International Relations, based on manuscript for Polity Press, as twitted (@AmitavAcharya) on 9th June 2013 from the Virgin Atlantic lounge at Heathrow Airport.

1.      Left Oxford today after fellowship. Great crowd at 6 Jun lecture to IR Dept on End of Hegemony. Completed same manuscript for Polity

2.      The Oxford Lecture and Polity book is critique of Liberal Hegemony (Leviathan) thesis. It's too flattering of past and confident of future

3.      US more like Mammoth than Leviathan. Much of world incl China, India not part of Lib order during Cold War and lack sense of ownership

4.      Lib Heg' dark side-selective in support for multilateralism and regionalism. Opposed Asian regionalism while backing it in Europe.

5.      Lib Heg ignored agency of non-Western states and global civil society. Pacific effects claimed for capitalism and democracy debatable.

6.      Can lib heg coopt emerging powers? Unlikely without much change, which might take dominance out of US hands. Will US share power with Rest?

7.      US decline debate unsettled. US will remain No.1 power but unipolarity is over. What comes after is a multiplex cinema, not multipolarity

8.      US leadership and liberal values essential for world order but acknowledging past excesses/abuses will enhance their future credibility

9.      Rising powers cannot govern the globe on own terms due to diversity, disunity, domestic weakness. But they can thwart revival of US hegemony

10.  G-20 lacks glue, BRICS lack cement. Idea of global Concert implausible. Rising powers need regional legitimacy to realize global ambitions

11.  Regionalism not disintegrative as Lib Heg thesis holds. Regionalism today is more open, dynamic, inclusive, unlike 19th century power blocs

12.  Global-Regional divide obsolete due to rise of interregionalism. Asian groups engage all great powers.

13.  Proliferation of reg groups; their functions expanded to cover security, trade, finance, ecology, rights, democracy, transnational threats.

14.  EU not only model for regionalism. other groups have different designs and claims to success in conflict control and cooperative security

15.  New hegemonic forms like Asian NATO or Chinese Tributary Orders implausible today relative to open regionalism and cooperative security

16.  Multipolar, polcycentric, apolar, G-Zero, etc, less apt for our future than multiplex, where audience can see diff movies but under one roof

17.  Movies in global multiplex are 4-D: height (power), length (inclusive), depth (leadership) and time (change, Europe's past is not our future

18.  Analysts look to Europe's past to explain the future, but world has never been like this: multiple regional centers interacting closely

19.  Instead of using the European past or pining rerun of American world order, we should prepare to "boldly go where no one has gone before"

20.  Ideas for US: stress positive but admit limits/excesses of lib heg, share power with emerging nations, engage deeply with regional worlds

21.  That was summary of my book- early 2014 release by Polity Press-completed during my Oxford Christensen Fellowship. Love your comments

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