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Lecture 3

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Sociology (Arts)
SOCI 265
John Anthony Hall

Week 3 – Lecture 3 Sociology 265 – War, States and Social Change Discussion Groups Assumptions about realist theory aren’t dropped regarding a hegemonic theory - still an anarchic world but it is changed by the presence of a hegemon, but the hegemon still acts as the same way as realism describes▯ tries to maximise its own role o but it doesn’t do this for the good of everyone, but for it’s own good  in the process it produces a set of benefits that advantage everyone - provides stabilisers for the capitalist system o provides a common exchange currency – e.g. dollar or gold standard  for cross-border trade to occur o free trade  benefit because it helps those at the top of value-added chain  history of the Netherlands, GB and US  those at the centre of capitalism drive free trade because it benefits them • unlike the Third World o absorber of excessive goods from everywhere else in the world – e.g. USAconsumes 25% of world’s gross domestic products = common currency means budget deficits can run as much as they want = hegemon enjoys the benefits at the top of the chain  produce high tech, high value added goods  expands free trade (sometimes unilaterally not multilaterally) = the whole system of liberal-caputalist benefits but the hegemon does not act to aid everyone but actually to aid the hegemon assumption that there is an anarchic world without the hegemon - otherwise it would be all against all states are the actors and they act to maximise their national goal  the hegemon is strong enough, when it pursues its own goals, it produces a set of externalities that benefit all - not as anarchic as it once was, when there was one power strong enough to set the rules of the game o military deterrent from the hegemon that can destroy all  the hegemon takes military services • e.g. the USA– military presence in Europe post WW2 o provided a deterrent for countries to not wage war against each other o sets the economic system to a stable more calculable environment – currency etc. according to the theory of hegemonic stability theory  US is a hegemon – in decline or more open?! (debated) - decline – using force e.g. Iraq and Afghanis▯aunable to work hegemon role because it needs to rely on military power argument of theory – not supposed to actually take military action  reputation should be enough - has the USAever even been a whole hegemon? Theory = certain people propose this as an explanation for the system - US is the biggest example yet has it ever actually fitted this person? o Allowed by the support of other European countries o Presenter of interests of the western world  even post-WW2 it did not truly represent the power of all HST – specifically for a liberal-capitalist world - only can have one hegemon at one time ▯defines a peaceful situation o how does this theory explain when war’s break out?  When there is no clear hegemon or challenges to the previous hegemon  challenges to the leading position or system • No hegemon provides stability = LEADS TO WAR (read Gilpin) Does the HST explain much/stand up to argument? - what do people say in favour of it? o - Against it? o In many nations there is a lot of dislike of the hegemonic theory HST – assume states are rational actors? - states are the actors – hegemon provides a set of external information which is more predictable and workable hegemon – does in the short and long term, what it believes will maximise its position  even if eventually hegemonic power will have to be given up What is the commonalities between the HST and liberalism? - HST requires a stable trading relationship between the different states – forces other states to conform to the economic type that belongs to the hegemonic o Free trade and capitalism often = makes sense that globalisation has occurred o Liberalism = economic aspect why there is peace between liberal-capitalist countries  Expansion of liberal free-trade environment is very common = breakdown - Liberalism = hegemon provides a peaceful order Gilpin – Explaining Wars in the Modern World - central argument in the article: specific argu▯an institutionalist on▯a common reason for the majority of breakout of wars in the modern world since 1800 = multiple breaking points but 2 critical institutional changes in the last 2 decades of how the government should be = institutional growth of imperial systems and then the shift away from empires to nation states (institutional forms of government) o wars seem to be very centred around 2 institutions
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