Power, leadership, and hegemony in international politics: the case of East Asia (2010)

Verfasst von Dirk Nabers


The article inquires into the conditions of effective leadership of states in international politics, and develops a framework for the study of so-called (new) regional powers such as Brazil, China, India, and South Africa in processes of regional institution-building. Various theoretical strands will be discussed as to the requirements of effective leadership in international affairs. Most importantly, the relationship between power, leadership and hegemony will be outlined. It is argued that the connection between leadership and hegemony is one of co-constitution. Leadership is necessarily based on hegemony, while hegemony can only be sustained through leadership. Furthermore, it will be shown that both leadership and hegemony are essentially political in character, whereas power has no such insinuation but has to be translated into leadership and hegemony through discursive means. Finally, the analysis asks for the preconditions of leadership in East Asia, using China's and Japan's roles in East Asian regionalism as an illustration.

Erschienen in Review of International Studies (2010), 36 : pp 931-949

DOI: 10.1017/S0260210510001373

Cambridge Journals Online