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Transnational elite knowledge networks: Managing American hegemony in turbulent times

Parmar, I. ORCID: 0000-0001-8688-9020 (2018). Transnational elite knowledge networks: Managing American hegemony in turbulent times. Security Studies, 28(3), pp. 532-564. doi: 10.1080/09636412.2019.1604986


The liberal international order’s (LIO) own theory is as much in crisis as the institutional system whose virtues it champions. This is due first to theoretical shortcomings per se; and secondly, due to its misunderstanding or neglect of the role of elite knowledge networks and of socialisation in the development and perpetuation of American liberal hegemony. The article – which adds to recent interest in the dynamics of hegemonic order building and maintenance - argues that a neo-Gramscian-Kautskyian theoretical synthesis better explains the character and methods of the LIO. The article considers two cases through which to compare liberal internationalist and Gramscian-Kautskyian claims: the 1970s challenge of third world states under the banner of a new international economic order (NIEO) and the managed ‘opening’ of China; and the Trumpian challenge to the LIO. On that basis, the article concludes that the hegemonic LIO and its core states and elite networks are engaged in a titanic struggle against forces unleashed by a combination of its own successes, inadequacies and exclusions. Gramscian-Kautskyian theory, using the transnationally-extended ‘elite knowledge network’ concept, also suggests that, despite turbulence, the hegemonic LIO has significant powers of adaptation, co-optation, and resistance, and is likely to remain resilient, if turbulent and not unchanged, for the foreseeable future.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in 'Security Studies' on 3 June 2019, available online:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
SWORD Depositor:
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