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Good-Bye Hegemony!:
Power and Influence in the Global System
Simon Reich & Richard Ned Lebow

Paperback | 2014 | $24.95 | ($14.97) / £16.95 | (£10.17) | ISBN: 9780691160436
Hardcover | 2014 | $95.00 | ($57.00) / £65.00 | (£39.00) | ISBN: 9780691160429
208 pp. | 6x9 | 6 tables.
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Many policymakers, journalists, and scholars insist that U.S. hegemony is essential for warding off global chaos. Good-Bye Hegemony! argues that hegemony is a fiction propagated to support a large defense establishment, justify American claims to world leadership, and buttress the self-esteem of voters. It is also contrary to American interests and the global order. Simon Reich and Richard Ned Lebow argue that hegemony should instead find expression in agenda setting, economic custodianship, and the sponsorship of global initiatives. Today, these functions are diffused through the system, with European countries, China, and lesser powers making important contributions. In contrast, the United States has often been a source of political and economic instability.

Rejecting the focus on power common to American realists and liberals, the authors offer a novel analysis of influence. In the process, they differentiate influence from power and power from material resources. Their analysis shows why the United States, the greatest power the world has ever seen, is increasingly incapable of translating its power into influence. Reich and Lebow use their analysis to formulate a more realistic place for America in world affairs.

Simon Reich is professor of global affairs and political science at Rutgers University, Newark. Richard Ned Lebow is professor of international political theory at King’s College London and the James O. Freedman Presidential Professor of Government Emeritus at Dartmouth College.


"Here is a book written by American internationalists for American internationalists, and which by its meticulous precision and clarity of his presentation contains analyzes and lessons especially useful for understanding and analyzing the evolution of the international system. Undoubtedly an essential item for the internationalists, . . . but hopefully also for other disciplines as it illustrates the necessity and the usefulness of the theory of international relations."--Olivier Schmitt, War Studies Publications

"Built upon an insightful combination of theoretical and empirical approaches, this volume is sustained by a sobering and provoking narrative that makes it compelling for wide and diverse audiences."--Mabel Gonzalez Bustelo, Global Policy Journal

"This book provides a truly timely and richly documented study of the problems associated with the idea of hegemony in international politics. Simon Reich and Richard Ned Lebow convincingly interrogate the multiple ways this idea is conceptually impoverished and demonstrate how it skews the lenses through which international relations scholars and political actors view America’s role in in the world."--Jeanne Morefield, Perspectives on Politics


"Mounting a frontal challenge to reigning theories in international relations and the conventional wisdom regarding the place of the United States in the international system, Good-Bye Hegemony! shows that the country stopped acting like a hegemon a long time ago. This accessible and engaging work will spark interesting and useful discussions in international relations and comparative foreign policy."--Jeffrey Anderson, Georgetown University

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Table of Contents:

List of Tables ix
Preface xi
Chapter 1 The Wall Has Fallen 1
Chapter 2 Power and Influence in the Global System 15
Chapter 3 Europe and Agenda Setting 51
Chapter 4 China and Custodial Economic Management 83
Chapter 5 America and Security Sponsorship 131
Chapter 6 The Future of International Relations 171
Index 185

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