Undermining Hegemony. The US, China, Russia, and International Public Goods

2015 - 2018 (Avsluttet) Prosjektnummer: 240647/F10
Developments in the last fifteen years have driven renewed interest in hegemonic-stability and power-transition theory. The persistence of US-centered primacy during the 1990s produced new arguments for the stability of unipolar orders recent attention to the rise of China has made the dynamics of power transitions a central concern for work on grand strategy and interstate security.

A key question here, is whether states are status quo or revisionist powers. However, theorists of hegemonic orders pay surprising little attention to the power politics of international order itself, and the mechanisms behind a hollowing out of such orders. Our take on these widely discussed issues will therefore be a framework understanding the US, China, and Russia as engaged in a competition to provide public goods in exchange for support.

What is missing from traditional approaches and their views on public goods, is that rising powers have a much broader array of strategies at their disposal than either to challenge or assimilate the hegemon. There can be struggles to challenge the order in itself, without necessarily subduing to or directly challenging the hegemon as an actor. Rather than a direct challenge to the US as a hegemon, we contend that the US hegemonic order itself risks being hollowed out.

Although states may not always intend to hollow out liberal order, public-goods substitution often undermines its rules and norms. It does so with or without directly challenging the power-position of the hegemon. These questions do matter, because such developments are at the centre of contemporary theoretical and practical debates, from discussions over multipolarity, US power, and the rise of the BRICS countries, to Russias annexation of Crimea, and Russian and Chinese bids for the Arctic. The project will deliver empirical findings based on fieldwork and interviews in China, Russia, the United States, Iceland, Greenland, Kazakhstan, Brazil, and Colombia.


The Research Council of Norway




KRONIKK: USAs tid som supermakt er over. Vaksinene viser oss hvorfor.

June 28, 2021

USAs tid var over lenge før Trump, skriver bokaktuelle Morten S. Andersen

Bildet viser President Donald Trump og statsminister Erna Solberg

Eit evig statusjag

February 20, 2018

Å henge med riktig gjeng er like viktig for staten Noreg som det var for deg på ungdomskulen.


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  • Iver B. Neumann
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Undermining Hegemony? Building a Framework for Goods Substitution

The logics that we have outlined may, indeed, be applicable to a wide array of international actors and organizations that are aspiring to play public ...


Iver B. Neumann

Tidligere ansatt

Diplomati  Utenrikspolitikk  Internasjonale organisasjoner  Russland og Eurasia  Asia  Sør- og Mellom-Amerika  Nord-Amerika  Styring

Morten Skumsrud Andersen

Seniorforsker, leder for Forskningsgruppen for global orden og diplomati



Julia Bader, University of Amsterdam (NL)

Rebecca Adler-Nissen, University of Copenhagen, Department of Political Science (DK)

Dan Nexon, Georgetown University (US)

Ann Towns, Univeristy of Gothernburg (SWE)

Bahar Rumelili, Koc University, (Turkey)

Alex Cooley, Columbia University (US)