An Inquiry into Hegemony
Having established a basic understanding of power, the priority of this chapter is to explore the theoretical basis for understanding the nature of U.S. power in the prevailing international order. U.S. power is so significant that many contemporary scholars have termed the U.S. as hegemonic. What do we understand by this term, the nature of the U.S. power, and its operation in the international system? To assist our understanding of U.S. power position, I have drawn upon three lines of thoughts that have offered insights into that nature. These lines of thoughts are reflected in the three main theories of hegemony. The first is the neo-Gramscian school of hegemony and transnational class relations. The second is associated with world-system analysis of the great powers' rise and decline, cycles and transition. The third is the neo-realist/neo-liberal (Kindleberger-Gilpin-Keohane) understanding of hegemony as a regime of stability for order.