Exit from Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order
June 1, 2020
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
We live in a period of great uncertainty about the fate of America’s global leadership. Many believe that Donald Trump’s presidency marks the end of liberal international order-the very system of global institutions, rules, and values that shaped the American international system since the end of World War II. Trump’s repeated rejection of liberal order, criticisms of long-term allies of the US, and affinity for authoritarian leaders certainly undermines the American international system, but the truth is that liberal international order has been quietly eroding for at least 15 years.
In Exit from Hegemony, Alexander Cooley and Daniel Nexon develop a new, integrated approach to understanding the rise and decline of hegemonic orders. Their approach identifies three distinct ways in which the liberal international order is undergoing fundamental transformation. First, Russia and China have targeted the order, positioning themselves as revisionist powers by establishing alternative regional institutions and pushing counter-norms. Second, weaker states are hollowing out the order by seeking patronage and security partnership from nations outside of the order, such as Saudi Arabia and China. Even though they do not always seek to disrupt American hegemony, these new patron-client relationships lack the same liberal political and economic conditions as those involving the United States and its democratic allies. Third, a new series of transnational networks emphasizing illiberalism, nationalism, and right-wing values increasing challenges the anti-authoritarian, progressive transnational networks of the 1990s. These three pathways erode the primacy of the liberal international order from above, laterally, and from below. The Trump administration, with its “America First” doctrine, accelerates all three processes, critically lessening America’s position as a world power.
The SETA Foundation at Washington DC will host an online webinar event to discuss the new book Exit from Hegemony which discusses these topics.
Please kindly join us for a timely expert panel discussion.
Alexander Cooley is the Claire Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard College and Director of Columbia University’s Harriman Institute (2016-18). He also serves on Columbia University’s Tenure Review Advisory Committee (2017-20). Professor Cooley’s research examines how external actors have shaped the development and sovereignty of the former Soviet states, with a focus on Central Asia and the Caucasus. He is author and/or editor of six academic books.
Daniel Nexon is an Associate Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. Daniel Nexon has held fellowships at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and at the Ohio State University’s Mershon Center for International Studies. During 2009-2010 he worked in the U.S. Department of Defense as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow. He was the lead editor of International Studies Quarterly from 2014-2018.
Kilic B. Kanat is the Research Director at the SETA Foundation at Washington DC. He is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Penn State University, Erie. He was awarded the Outstanding Research Award and Council of Fellows Faculty Research Award at Penn State, Erie. He participated in Future Leaders Program of Foreign Policy Initiative. He is the author of A Tale of Four Augusts: Obama’s Syria Policy.