Uneven Polycentrism, Alliances, and Global Hegemony
This chapter develops conceptions of highly uneven polycentrism as they relate to geostrategic, military-technological, political-economic-industrial/financial, bio-demographic/environmental, and sociocultural/ideological power capabilities and influence, as these factors impact policy and diplomacy, as well as the social psychology of leadership decision-making and implementation of those decisions. It will argue that the term “global hegemony” for the leading core state is preferable to the term “unipolarity”—as hegemony represents a position in between imperial dominance and primacy. With respect to theories of conflict, rising or emergent core states generally compete with the leading hegemonic power and other lesser states for regional hegemony. If regional spheres of security and influence cannot be shared, or if the leading hegemonic state cannot find diplomatic or other means to compromise, cooperate or somehow collaborate with its potential rivals, then that rivalry can provoke war.