Hegemony and Democracy  book cover
1st Edition

Hegemony and Democracy

ISBN 9780415575713
Published April 19, 2011 by Routledge
288 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Hegemony and Democracy is constructed around the question of whether hegemony is sustainable, especially when the hegemon is a democratic state. The book draws on earlier publications over Bruce Russett’s long career and features new chapters that show the continuing relevance of his scholarship. In examining hegemony during and after the Cold War, it addresses:

  • The importance of domestic politics in the formulation of foreign policy;
  • The benefits and costs of seeking security through military power at the expense of expanding networks of shared national and transnational institutions;
  • The incentives of other states to bandwagon with a strong but unthreatening hegemon and 'free-ride' on benefits it may provide rather than to balance against a powerful hegemon.
  • The degree to which hegemony and democracy undermine or support each other.

By applying theories of collective action and foreign policy, Russett explores the development of American hegemony and the prospects for a democratic hegemon to retain its influence during the coming decades. This collection is an essential volume for students and scholars of International Relations, American Politics, and US Foreign Policy.

Table of Contents

1. A Democratic Hegemon?  2. Democracy, War, and Expansion through Historical Lenses  3. Dimensions of Resource Vulnerability: Some Elements of Rigor in Concept and Policy Analysis  4. U.S. Hegemony: Gone or Merely Diminished, and How Does it Matter?  5. The Real Decline in Nuclear Hegemony  6. The Future as Arbiter of Theoretical Controversies: The Scientific Study of Politics and Predictions with James Lee Ray  7. Courting Disaster: NATO vs. Russia and China with Allan C. Stam  8. A Neo-Kantian Perspective: Democracy, Interdependence and International Organizations in Building Security Communities  9. Democratic Intergovernmental Organizations Promote Peace with Jon Pevehouse  10. Security Council Expansion: Can’t and Shouldn’t  11. Liberalism  12. No Clear and Present Danger: A Skeptical View of the United States Entry into World War II  13. Democracy, Hegemony, and Collective Action

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Bruce Russett is Dean Acheson Professor of International Politics at Yale, and edited the Journal of Conflict Resolution from 1972 to 2009. His book with John Oneal, Triangulating Peace, won the International Studies Association prize for Best Book of the Decade. This is his 27th book.


Bruce Russett is one of America's leading international relations scholars, and he has long been interested in how democracy affects world politics. In this collection of his essays --some old, some new -- he focuses on how America's democratic character affects its hegemony. He has no simple answer, but he provides a variety of important insights on the matter. This book deserves to be widely read. - John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago.

Exploring the relationships between democracy and hegemony, Bruce Russett deploys a rare combination of rigor and nuance. Filled with insights and evidence, these essays by a master at the top of his game teach us a great deal about central issues of world politics. - Robert Jervis, Adlai E Stevenson Professor of International Politics, Columbia University

Bruce Russett, one of the most influential international relations scholars of the last half century, engages one of the most critical questions of our age – whether a democratic hegemony is sustainable. His essays are theoretically rich, historically broad, empirically rigorous, and methodologically self-conscious. They are essential reading for all serious scholars. - Jack S. Levy, Board of Governors Professor, Rutgers University

Russett is one of a handful of the most influential scholars in the field of international relations and has been for several decades. He has amassed a diverse and impressive body of research and writing, in recent years most notably his work refining and testing the theory of the democratic peace. This is a lasting body of work that students in the field will continue to read for a long time to come. - Jack L. Snyder, Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Relations, Columbia University