HEGEMONIC STABILITY THEORY NOUMAN MUBARIK MPHIL SS 1ST SEMESTER ABSTRACT: This paper briefly explains the basic postulates of the theory of Hegemonic Stability Theory, characteristics required for a state to become a Hegemon and the importance of a Hegemonic Power for international system stability. The later section discusses the five important factors for a Hegemonic design to be successful. The paper analytically discusses the Hegemonic Stability Theory and International Political Economy. Further shortcomings Hegemonic stability Theory are also been explained. In the last portion conclusion of the paper is given. INTRODUCTION: The hegemonic stability was first introduced by economist Charles Kindleberger after analyzing the event of Great Depression. States are considered to be rational and selfish actors which can go to any extent for achieving its national interest and national security. The international system is of anarchic nature which means that every state is pursuing its own interest. Kindleberger argued that hegemonic state must provide public goods to other states for securing peace and stability in international arena. According to Hegemonic Stability Theory a Hegemon (which has major political influence) is necessary for stability of international system. The basic postulate of Hegemonic stability states that distribution of power among states is the main is the main characteristic of viewing the nature of international system. To be a Hegemon, a state must have three attributes: The ability to implement the rules of the system; The Will to do so; A Commitment to a system which is perceived as mutually beneficial to the major states. Capability rests upon three attributes: A large and rapidly growing economy; Dominance in technological or economic sector; Political power combined with effective military power military power On hegemony According to Oxford Bibliographies, “hegemony comes from the Greek word hēgemonía, which means leadership and rule. In international relations, hegemony refers to the ability of an actor with overwhelming capability to shape the international system through both coercive and non-coercive means” (Norrlof, 2015). The Oxford English Dictionary defines hegemony in the following manner: “leadership, predominance, preponderance; especially the leadership or predominant authority of one state of a confederacy or union over others.” Importance of Hegemonic power for International system stability The main axiom of Hegemonic stability theory is that there must be a single power dominant in the international arena for the effective and peaceful running of international system. When there is only one superpower in the world structure it can manage international system, and can secure peace and stability in a much efficient way. As we flash back into the history we realize that after the World War 1 there was no Hegemon in the international arena which worsen the situation and lead towards the Second World War. After First World War both Britain and USA were not in the position to lead the world community. When single power is dominant in the international society it can better run the system by setting the rules and then implement those rules. A Hegemon has also the authority of punishing a state which is found guilty of violating the rules set by Hegemon. Punishing the violating states is necessary for the Hegemon to develop its stature in the world community and to set example for those revisionists who want to challenge the status quo. Main Characteristics of a Hegemon: A Hegemonic state should be a strong and stable combination of military, economic, political, institutional and ideological. First of all for a state to be a Hegemon it should have the mighty and effective military strength which can operate in all situations with same effectiveness. Acquiring a powerful military is the most important and basic factor for a state deeming to be a Hegemon. Economic is the second crucial factor as military strength and all other factors are interlinked with the economic factor. Better the economic condition of a state better it has the chances to gain military strength and ultimately to be a Hegemon. If state has a strong economic condition it can better control the international institutions and in result can have effective control over the world community. Third factor of political suggests that a Hegemon state should have good relations with its allies in order to have better global reach. A Hegemon state should have allies in every region of the world so it can manage the whole world community. Fourth, Hegemonic power along with its allies design most of the rules of international institutions which govern global economic and political matters, So a Hegemonic state can alter the rules of international system according to its interest and can manipulate the international financial and political institutions. Fifth a Hegemonic state should propagate its ideology in all parts of the world in order to increase its area of influence. That is the same thing which both USA and USSR were doing during the cold war era in the race of outdoing each other. So the promotion of ideologies is also an important factor in an effective Hegemonic design. According to Robert Keohane, ‘to be considered hegemonic in the world political economy…a country must have access to crucial raw materials, control major sources of capital, maintain a large market for imports, and hold comparative advantages in goods with high value added, yielding relatively high wages and profits. It must be stronger on these dimensions taken as a whole than any other country’. Keohane emphasises the economic factors most. Keohane’s criterion of hegemonic power only emphasises factors that are related to economy and trade. Suzan Strange suggests four elements of structural power that can be called hegemony’s global position; 1. The ability to threaten or protect other countries’ physical security by resorting to arms (security element); 2. The ability to control the global system of production of goods and services (production element); 3. The ability to shape the international capital market of finance and credit (financial element) 4. The ability to direct the development, accumulation and transfer of knowledge (knowledge element). Hegemonic stability Theory and International Political Economy: Hegemonic stability theory analyzes that absence of a Hegemon from world order was the reason for the Great Depression. After the First World War Great Britain were not in the position of a super power that created a power vacuum and every state got involved in race of attaining maximum power. International political Economy is a branch of International Relation which analyzes both politics and economics. IPE is of the view that political and economic relations of states are interlinked with each other. Both political and economic relations depend on each other and can’t be viewed separately. So International Political Economy provides a much more comprehensive and multi dimensional approach to the study of international Relations. According to International Political Economy the political atmosphere of a country affects its trade relations with other country. India and Pakistan are the classic example of this case which depicts that the political relations of both countries affect the bilateral trade relations. IPE's most important contribution to Cold War international relations theory was the HST. It was developed by Charles P. Kindleberger in the early post-war era, and focuses on the motives and behavior of a hegemonic state. The Hegemon is a wealthy and powerful state that undertakes to supply public goods to the international system. These include stable money, security (such as freedom of the seas), and a system of free trade that can be shared by all and that, in fact, works best when widely shared. The provision of public goods is costly; however, the Hegemon gains even if it disproportionately bears the expense alone because of its dominant position in the world system. (Veseth, 2017). The main argument is that a Hegemon is needed in international community in order to achieve cooperation among the states in the economic sector. In the absence of a Hegemon the cooperation among the states is impossible to achieve because of the anarchic nature of the International system. Hegemonic Stability Theory advocates that a predominant state becomes a Hegemon to structure the international economic system according to its wish in order to pursue its interests. Shortcomings of Hegemonic Stability Theory Hegemonic Stability theory evolved over the period of time into the theory of Hegemonic fatigue or decline. It depicts that Hegemony is a self limiting and self defeating making it temporary. A Hegemon cannot sustain its Hegemony for forever which is also propagated by the proponents of Long Cycle theory which states after every 60 or 70 year a new power emerges in the awake of a significant war. When a Hegemonic state bears the burden of organizing the international system the free rider states prosper and the Hegemonic state gets weaken. Hegemonic state becomes over committed to organize and improve the structure of international system that there comes a point that Hegemonic state gets weak to the extent that it is impossible for it to sustain its hegemony. Britain’s fall during the nineteenth century and the collapse of Breton Woods System are the most common examples of Hegemonic decline. In this century the exit of Great Britain from European Union can also be viewed in the same concept as UK considers that the burden of other nations is taking a heavy toll on their national growth. Conclusion: International system is more likely to be stable and secure in the presence of a Hegemon. In the presence of a Hegemon the international system becomes chaotic because of the anarchic nature of the international system. A Hegemon is necessary to run the economic structure of the world as well. In order to become a Hegemon state need to have powerful military and rapidly growing economy. On the other hand it is also self limiting and self defeating concept as well, as the Hegemon has to bear the burden of organizing the international system and the expense of free riding states which weaken it to the extent that it loses its Hegemonic ability and a new Hegemon rises. References: Dirzauskaite, Goda, and Nicolae Cristinel Ilinca. Understanding “Hegemony” in International Relations Theories. May 2017. https://projekter.aau.dk/projekter/files/260247380/Understanding__Hegemony__in_International_ Relations_Theories.pdf (accessed November 1, 2018). https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pol116/hegemony.htm. Krasner, Michael C. Webb and Stephen D. “Hegemonic Stability Theory: An Empirical Assessment.” JSTOR, 1989: 183-198. Liu, Tony Tai-Ting, and Hung Ming-Te. “Hegemonic Stability and Northeast Asia:What Hegemon?What Stability?” Journal of Asia Pacific Studies, 2011: 216-230. Yazid, Assoc. Prof. Dr.Mohd. Noor Mat. “THE THEORY OF HEGEMONIC STABILITY, HEGEMONIC POWER AND.” Global Journal of Political Science and Administration, 2015: 65-79.