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Bertrand Badie

Hegemony Challenged New Forms of International Domination

Professor at Sciences Po in Paris, Bertrand Badie has emerged as one of the experts in international relations. He is the author of some thirty authoritative works, including La Diplomatie de connivence; L’Impuissance de la puissance; and Le Temps des humiliés. He has been co-director of L’État du monde for twelve years.

Ever since the America of Trump made it known that it would look first to its own interests before those of the international community (“America First!”), all eyes have been turned to China: would China take the place of the United States and embody a new form of world hegemony? Didn’t the international order absolutely need a guardian? And which qualities, from then on, did the new leader have to have in order to assume that role?

With this book, Bertrand Badie offers us a completely unique reading of international relations. For him, hegemony is a myth that serves to rewrite history to benefit the dominant powers. Because, he stresses, hegemony assumes an agreed-upon adherence, along the lines of the Delian League formed by Greek city-states around Athens against Sparta. But, an attentive study of history – from Charles V to Victorian England, from decolonization to the Cold War – shows that hegemony has never been totally established, and never unambiguously. Even worse, it is an illusion that leads powers to be blind to the rejection they arouse, thereby feeding protest movements that can sweep them away. The globalization of the protest posture which we are witnessing today would mark not the disappearance of hegemony, rather its inevitable reversal.

A brilliant and profound work that offers a critical look at the current disorder in our world…