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Assess hegemonic stability theory and how this relates to US foreign policy during the Clinton to G.W.Bush administrations

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  1. Introduction.
  2. One theory, two versions.
  3. The limits of the theory.
  4. The paradox of hegemony through Clinton and G.W. Bush administrations.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

In 1970 Liberalism tried to create a revolution: international relations should be thought of using the study of economic interdependence, a key concept where states are affected by decisions taken by others. Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye insisted on economic facts of the early 1970s as the crisis of the international monetary system, the oil shocks Until the 1970s the economy was not an important subject in the study of international relations. Since this period the rise of international political economy brought new outlooks to the study of international relations. The realist family, firstly concentrated on the military power, and then tried gradually to focus on economic effects. Thus, there is a new formulation of realism during the 80s where the main objective is to think about change. This new point of view tries to think moderate change in order to consider cooperation between States. The balance of power is still the essential tool for some realists like Kenneth Waltz or Stephen Walt who think the stability of the international system thanks to a multipolar world.

[...] In order to illustrate this paradox and to test the HST it could be interesting to compare Clinton and Bush administration through both hegemon's definition. The paradox of hegemony through Clinton and G.W. Bush administrations First of all, the paradox of hegemony can be illustrated by the great number of conflicts between the United-Nations and US. The UN is largely the product of the US. For instance the first draft of the UN charter was inspired by a US document called 'The essential Points in the Charter of the International Organization'. [...]


[...] This senseless war denotes that, first of all the US became a partisan player in the Middle East instead of a balancer, and second of all it underlines a new reality: the Middle East is the cockpit of global instability, putting global energy security at risk, encouraging terrorism Consequently, the HST is possible only if the hegemon is satisfied with the configuration of the world power, it will not hesitate to disturb the system and risk global stability if a state is placed across its path. [...]


[...] In order to deal with this interrogation, we will study the liberal and realist conceptions of the HST on the first hand, then a list of shortcomings of this theory will be developed in order to assess the theory, and lastly we will see how this relates to US foreign policy during the Clinton to G.W.Bush administrations. One theory, two versions The HST argues that stability and international economic openness can be provided by a single dominant state, a hegemon. [...]

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