Seminer: “The Distribution of Identity in International Politics and Hegemonic Transition,” Prof. Ted Hopf (National University of Singapore), A Binası Oda no: 130, 15:30 19 Eylül (EN)

SENIOR SCHOLAR SERIES: “The Distribution of Identity in International Politics and Hegemonic Transition”

National University of Singapore

19 September, Tuesday at 15:30
Bilkent University Main Campus, A Building, Room: 130

“Existing theories predict that the rise of China will trigger a hegemonic transition and the current debate centers on whether or not the transition will be violent or peaceful. This debate largely sidesteps two questions that are central to understanding the future of international order: how strong is the current Western hegemonic order and what is the likelihood that China can or will lead a successful counter-hegemonic challenge? We argue that the future of international order is shaped not only by material power but also by the distribution of identity across the great powers. We develop a constructivist account of hegemonic transition that theorizes the role of the distribution of identity in international order. In our account, hegemonic orders depend on a legitimating ideology that must be consistent with the distribution of identity at both the level of elites and masses. We map the distribution of identity across nine great powers and assess how this distribution supports the current Western neoliberal democratic hegemony. We conclude that China is unlikely to become the hegemon in the near-term.

First, the present order is strongly supported by the distribution of identity in both Western states and rising powers like India and Brazil. Second, China is unlikely to join the present order and lead a transition from within because its authoritarian identity conflicts with the democratic ideology of the present order. Finally, China is unlikely to lead a counter-hegemonic coalition of great powers because it will be difficult to build an appealing, universal ideology consistent with the identities of other great powers.”

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