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Empire, Hegemony, and Leadership: Developing a Research Framework for the Study of Regional Powers

Sandra Destradi

No 79, GIGA Working Papers from GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies

Abstract: Regional powers are often conceived of as regional leading powers, states which adopt a cooperative and benevolent attitude in their international relations with their neighbors. The paper argues that regional powers can follow a much wider range of foreign policy strategies in their region. Three ideal-typical regional strategies are identified: empire, hegemony, and leadership. The paper is devoted to a theory-led distinction and clarification of these three terms, which are often used interchangeably in the field of international relations. According to the goals pursued, to the means employed, and to other discriminating features such as the degree of legitimation and the type of self-representation by the dominant state, the paper outlines the essential traits of imperial, hegemonic, and leading strategies and identifies subtypes for better classifying hegemony and leadership.

Keywords: regional powers; empire; hegemony; leadership; strategy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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