Understanding Hegemonic Stability Theory and Its Impact on International Relations

This lecture explores the theory that powerful states create and sustain institutions to maintain order and prevent conflict. It discusses power transitions, hegemonic cycles, and the impact of the decline of global powers on international relations.

00:00:02 This lecture discusses the hegemonic stability theory, which states that international institutions are created and sustained by the most powerful state to maintain the economic and political order. These institutions aim to prevent trade collapse and conflict recurrence.

🌍 The current international institutions were established by the largest power to maintain the economic and political order and prevent a trade collapse.

💪 A hegemonic power, the most powerful state, creates and sustains these international institutions after winning a systemic war.

📜 Various treaties throughout history, such as the Treaty of Westphalia and the Paris Conference, aimed to create governance structures and mechanisms for conflict resolution.

00:05:20 War occurs when a state in relative decline is challenged by a rising power. The challenger may win if stronger, but often loses due to weaker coalition. Power transitions and hegemonic cycles shape international system.

🌍 War occurs when there is a power transition, with a challenger state seeking to overthrow the established power.

🔴🟠 The dynamics of war change based on the relative power growth of the challenger and status quo states.

🛳️ Hegemonic powers shape the international system through dominance in commerce and technology.

00:10:40 The decline of British economic power and the rise of challengers like Germany and the US in international relations theory. The importance of naval dominance and the succession of hegemonic powers.

🌍 In the mid-1850s, Britain accounted for 58% of the world's economy and was an industrial powerhouse. However, by 2006, Britain's economy declined to only 2% as they failed to invest in new technologies like Germany did.

💼 The dominant state, like the US, benefits from controlling international financial institutions and has little interest in giving up its power. If the US were to release its influence, the American dollar would become more vulnerable to the policies of other countries.

⚓️ Naval power plays a significant role in maintaining hegemony. The British navy's power was not based on natural resources but on commerce and the ability to buy resources. Challengers in naval power have historically replaced the previous hegemon.

00:15:58 This lecture discusses the concept of Hegemonic Stability Theory and its impact on international relations, highlighting the rise and decline of global powers throughout history.

⭐️ The British empire dominated a significant portion of the world's area and population, with control over trade routes and telegraph lines for instant communication.

📉 The economic power of France and Britain declined over time, while the USSR experienced a rapid rise, but the perception of Soviet industrialization was distorted.

🌍 The control of the world's oceans shifted from the Portuguese to the Dutch, then to the British, and now to the US, with each hegemonic power establishing preferential free trade.

☮️ Periods of peace have been associated with a single dominant hegemon, while periods of war have been linked to the decline of that hegemon.

⚖️ Institutions like the UN, World Bank, and World Trade Organization were established during America's period of hegemony after World War II and may face challenges if the US declines.

📚 Various long cycle theories, such as the ones by Jack Levy and Arnold Toynbee, explore the relationship between economic events and the occurrence of wars.

💰 The economic structure of the 1920s relied on US loans from European countries, which in turn depended on German war reparations, leading to the stock market crash and the Great Depression.

00:21:14 Lecture on the impact of the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression on international relations, leading to the rise of fascism and the Second World War.

🌍 The 1929 stock market crash led to the Great Depression, causing unemployment and the rise of radical parties in Europe.

💰 Germany's inability to export to the US and repay reparations led to the failure of banks and a lack of finance for large-scale projects.

⚖️ The absence of a willing hegemonic intervention to prevent the recession from becoming a long and difficult depression contributed to the Second World War.

00:26:31 International Relations Theory Lecture discussing the concept of Hegemonic Stability Theory and the role of a hegemon in maintaining the international system.

🔑 A public good is characterized by non-rivalness and non-exclusiveness, allowing all states to benefit without trade-offs or exclusion.

💼 A hegemon has the responsibility to provide public goods, maintain the international system, and deploy resources like a navy to stop piracy and promote easy commerce.

⚖️ The failure of British and American hegemons to manage the international system led to the Great Depression, unemployment, and the rise of fascist regimes in Germany, Italy, and Japan.

💰 Hegemons play crucial roles as leaders and lenders of last resort during recessions, providing counter-cyclical loans and maintaining low tariffs to support the global economy.

🌍 The United Nations was established after WWII to support the world bank and IMF, aiming to prevent another great depression and the rise of fascist governments.

🤝 Critics argue that a hegemon is not necessary for maintaining an international economic system, as smaller states can cooperate to maintain public goods.

00:31:48 In this lecture, the concept of hegemonic stability theory is discussed. It examines whether a dominant power is necessary to maintain international order. The decline of the US as a hegemon raises concerns about the future of global institutions, but there are different perspectives on the outcome.

📚 The Coase theorem suggests that small countries can overcome coordination problems without needing a hegemon.

🌍 The decline of the US raised concerns about the stability of international institutions dependent on US power.

🌐 There are different perspectives on the impact of US decline on the international system, ranging from pessimistic to optimistic.

💪 The US has soft power through cultural influence, which can shape the behavior of other countries.

🤝 Human rights and democracy played a significant role in the collapse of communist governments in Eastern Europe.

Summary of a video "005 International Relations Theory Lecture 12 Hegemonic Stability Theory" by Julian Spencer-Churchill on YouTube.

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