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Hegemonic Competition, Hegemonic Disruption and the Current War
Unformatted Document Text:  Newmann: DRAFT: Please do not cite without permission task of reconstructing the world in its own image. Both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations have committed the US to a revisionist goal of spreading of liberal-democratic norms around the globe as a first order foreign policy priority. 4 As a revisionist hegemon, US power and policy directly challenges non-liberal-democratic nations and ideological movements – an ideological contest that raises the stakes for the US. The survival of al-Qaeda and its revolutionary ideology undermines the foundation of US hegemonic policies as it seeks to spread democracy and free trade. The US cannot ignore al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda is not likely to ignore the US. In this sense, unless the US moves away from it revisionism, accepting a more status quo realist hegemony, its hegemonic future depends, in part, on how well it can compete with al-Qaeda’s revolutionary ideology in nations with substantial Muslim populations. The first section of this essay develops a model of hegemonic disruption in which the al-Qaeda led and inspired global insurgency presents an asymmetric challenge to US hegemony through its violent activities, organizational efforts, and ideological inspiration. A second section places the al-Qaeda network and its role as the vanguard of a revolutionary movement within the context of this model by defining it as a strategic sub-national actor; its firm ideological roots and its power projection capabilities justify its elevation to this status. Third, a discussion of al-Qeada’s “national security strategy” illustrates how its objectives and strategies to achieve those objectives make it a global insurgency acting against US hegemony. Based upon the model of hegemonic disruption and al-Qeada’s strategic relevance, a fourth section presents scenarios of how recent events and potential developments throughout Africa and Asia may impact US hegemony. Several small case studies illustrate al-Qeada’s reach and suggest future developments that could create an arc of instability from Morocco to the Philippines. This section considers the potential impact of this global insurgency on US hegemony and its relationship with other second-tier powers. The complicating factor of US revisionist hegemony is added to the model in a fifth section. In a concluding section, the implications for US foreign policy and national security are addressed. US policy makers must realize that while traditional hegemonic policies point the US toward cooptation, deterrence, 4 Add something here on the idealist impulse in US foreign policy: pro-benign hegemon and anti-US as imperial) 4

Authors: Newmann, William.
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Newmann: DRAFT: Please do not cite without permission
task of reconstructing the world in its own image. Both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations
have committed the US to a revisionist goal of spreading of liberal-democratic norms around the globe as
a first order foreign policy priority.
As a revisionist hegemon, US power and policy directly challenges
non-liberal-democratic nations and ideological movements – an ideological contest that raises the stakes
for the US. The survival of al-Qaeda and its revolutionary ideology undermines the foundation of US
hegemonic policies as it seeks to spread democracy and free trade. The US cannot ignore al-Qaeda and
al-Qaeda is not likely to ignore the US. In this sense, unless the US moves away from it revisionism,
accepting a more status quo realist hegemony, its hegemonic future depends, in part, on how well it can
compete with al-Qaeda’s revolutionary ideology in nations with substantial Muslim populations.
The first section of this essay develops a model of hegemonic disruption in which the al-Qaeda
led and inspired global insurgency presents an asymmetric challenge to US hegemony through its violent
activities, organizational efforts, and ideological inspiration. A second section places the al-Qaeda
network and its role as the vanguard of a revolutionary movement within the context of this model by
defining it as a strategic sub-national actor; its firm ideological roots and its power projection capabilities
justify its elevation to this status. Third, a discussion of al-Qeada’s “national security strategy” illustrates
how its objectives and strategies to achieve those objectives make it a global insurgency acting against
US hegemony. Based upon the model of hegemonic disruption and al-Qeada’s strategic relevance, a
fourth section presents scenarios of how recent events and potential developments throughout Africa and
Asia may impact US hegemony. Several small case studies illustrate al-Qeada’s reach and suggest future
developments that could create an arc of instability from Morocco to the Philippines. This section
considers the potential impact of this global insurgency on US hegemony and its relationship with other
second-tier powers.
The complicating factor of US revisionist hegemony is added to the model in a fifth section. In a
concluding section, the implications for US foreign policy and national security are addressed. US policy
makers must realize that while traditional hegemonic policies point the US toward cooptation, deterrence,
4
Add something here on the idealist impulse in US foreign policy: pro-benign hegemon and anti-US as imperial)
4


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