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Subordinate-State Agency and US Hegemony: Colombian Consent versus Bolivian Dissent

Published in Oxford University Press
Volume: 23
Issue: 1
Pages: 140 - 163

The strategies of subordinate states in hegemonic or asymmetrical relations have been widely studied by international relations scholars. Such works generally focus on how a subordinate state can influence the hegemon's behavior so as to address and further the interests of the subordinate state. The relation between subordinate-state agency and the hegemonic system, the makeup of the hegemonic order, itself receives less attention. Through analysis of two cases of US hegemony in Latin America, this article examines how subordinate-state agency may strengthen or weaken the hegemonic system and, as such, makes a case for subordinate-state agency as an underpinning element of hegemony. It explores Colombian agency in the design phase of Plan Colombia as contributing to US hegemony, while Bolivian agency under the presidency of Evo Morales is examined as a challenge. In both instances, it was the United States, rather than the Latin American states, that took on a passive role, leaving the initiative with Colombia and Bolivia. Therefore, instead of reaffirmations of active one-way US hegemony versus passive subordinate states, the paper proposes to understand both cases as demonstrating the importance of subordinate-state agency in the configuration of the hegemonic system.

About the journal
JournalData powered by TypesetInternational Studies Review
PublisherData powered by TypesetOxford University Press
Open AccessNo