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Discourse Checks And Balances And Hegemonic Protection: An Analysis Of The Strategic Discourse Of The US "Asia-Pacific Rebalancing" Strategy

Posted on:2018-03-17Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:S YuanFull Text:PDF
GTID:1316330536956733Subject:International politics
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As one of the most dated and most influential theories in International Relations,“Balance of Power” theory argues that the existence of hegemony leads to power balancing by other actors and an eventual balance of power in the international system.In reality,however,an “imbalance of power” often occurs,and the lack of a balancing force or coalition against the US hegemony almost three decades after the end of the Cold War has become a classic puzzle in International Relations Studies.Existing research tries to probe into this question from the “under-balancing” of other states,but as the strongest country in the world,the hegemon will not passively wait for balancing by other countries,instead it will use power balancing strategies to maintain its hegemony.This dissertation proposes the hypothesis that the hegemon uses “discursive balancing” strategies to maintain its hegemonic status,specifically,the hegemon uses discursive strategies to build consensus and policy coalitions both home and abroad,in order to maintain the hegemonic power structure.This strategy can be classified into three categories,firstly,“internal discursive balancing” aiming at building domestic consensus and policy coalitions;secondly,“external discursive balancing” aiming at building international consensus and hegemonic coalitions,and the first two categories can be put together under the broader category of “positive discursive balancing” aiming at boosting the usable power of the hegemon;thirdly,“negative discursive balancing” aiming at deterring potential challengers by building consenus with rising powers.This dissertation ponders into the U.S.“Rebalance to the Asia-Pacific” strategy as a case study to see how the Obama administration utilizes discursive balancing strategies in an aim to maintain the U.S.hegemony.On one hand,the Obama administration builds a discursive consensus and policy coalitions of hegemonic maintenance both home and in the Asia Pacific region,in order to increase American legitimacy and usable power;on the other hand,it delegitimizes challenge to the hegemonic order,decreases the usable power of the potential challenges,and achieves the objective of hegemonic maintenance in this region.Endowed with hegemonic discursive capital,the hegemon has the preemptive advantage in using discursive balancing strategies,which tend to yield better results with low cost,but also have limits,and risk increasing the insecurity of the hegemon and instability of the whole system.Therefore,this dissertation is of theoretic significance and empirical value.On one hand,it enriches the studies of hegemonic theory and balance of power theory,as well as deepens the understanding of specific mechanisms of hegemonic discourse.On the other hand,as the foreign policy heritage of the Obama administration,the Rebalance to the Asia-Pacific strategy has ongoing implications on the current international situation in the Asia Pacific and the China-U.S.relations in the years to come,and since China has been heavily constrained by American discursive strategies,it will also be of policy implications to ponder into how to respond to American discursive balancing efforts and how to use discursive strategies to promote China's own national interest.
Keywords/Search Tags:hegemonic maintenance, power balancing, balancing failure, discursive balancing, Rebalance to the Asia-Pacific
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