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On the Basis of Consent: Subordinate-State Agency and US Hegemony in Latin America (1990-2010)

Kat, Quintijn; (2020) On the Basis of Consent: Subordinate-State Agency and US Hegemony in Latin America (1990-2010). Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Most theories of hegemony in international relations assume an active role of, first, the hegemon, which upholds the hegemonic order, and, second, challenger states, which are powerful enough to threaten this order. Subordinate states are generally seen as passive objects within the order, and their agency and influence are largely unexplored in hegemony studies. This is surprising because in several International Relations (IR) theories subordinate-state consent forms an essential feature of hegemony. This project, therefore, questions subordinate-state passivity and, instead, connects consent to agency, which leads to an assessment of the role of subordinate-state agency in the workings of hegemonic order. It hypothesizes that subordinate-state agency is an underpinning element of hegemony, which will be strengthened if the hegemon heeds and addresses the interests of subordinate states, leading these to support it. When the hegemon fails to take subordinate-state interests into account, these states will challenge and weaken hegemony. This work tests the hypothesis by examining US hegemony in Latin America in the post-Cold War era, a period in which the United States established hegemony with significant levels of consent. Through process tracing, the project examines four case studies that fall within two themes of particular interest to the United States. These are free-trade negotiations (Brazil and Peru) and counternarcotics cooperation (Colombia and Bolivia). Within each theme, the selection of one case of consent and one case of dissent allows for comparison between active cooperation with, and active obstruction of, the United States. The study finds that in each of the cases subordinate-state agency was indeed highly influential and, at times, even decisive in the turn of events. This finding suggests the need for a revaluation of subordinate-state agency in hegemony studies and renewed attention to the interaction between hegemonic and subordinate states in IR.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: On the Basis of Consent: Subordinate-State Agency and US Hegemony in Latin America (1990-2010)
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10113768
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