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Hollow Hegemony: Rethinking Global Politics, Power and Resistance [Paperback]

David Chandler

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Book Description

20 July 2009
David Chandler explores the concept of 'global ideology' and how it impacts on conflict, security and development policy-making, explaining why 'the global' is such a damaging construction and exposing the political vacuum at the heart of common perceptions of global politics.

He argues that the pre-eminence of the global, whether in terms of global governance, global security or global resistance, is predicated on a lack rather than a presence. It is the lack of clear sites and articulations of power, the lack of clear security threats and the lack of clear political programmes or movements of resistance that drives the concept of international relations in global terms.

This wide-ranging analysis is a perfect antidote for students frustrated with the abundant but vague literature on globalisation.

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More About the Author

David Chandler is Professor of International Relations and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, London, UK. He is the founding editor of the Taylor & Francis journals Intervention and Statebuilding and Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses. He is the author of a number of books and numerous articles and book chapters on the shifting paradigms of international intervention - particularly those of humanitarian intervention, statebuilding and resilience - and how these can be critically engaged with. His website is at www.davidchandler.org and his email address is d.chandler@wmin.ac.uk.

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Review

This engagingly written book provides a lucid critique of the theories of global politics popular among scholars and policymakers alike. In the process of describing the fragility of such a politics, David Chandler illuminates the global arena as idea and reality in a nuanced and masterful way. Indispensable for anyone interested in politics and globalization. (Faisal Devji, St. Antony's College, Oxford, author of The Terrorist in Search of Humanity: Militant Islam and Global Politics (2009).)

Globalization is a watchword in economics and politics. ... The assumed hegemony of the 'global' is hollow, falsely encouraging a paralysis of national initiative and responsibility, which are needed especially for healthy international relations. Contrarian and controversial, Chandler’s analysis questions conventional wisdom and offers alternatives that we ignore at our peril. (John K. Roth, Edward J. Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Founding Director, Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, Claremont McKenna College)

Hollow Hegemony offers a powerful reinterpretation of the globalisation of politics. Rather than representing a projection of moral commitment, humanitarian values and strategic action into the world, David Chandler urges us to understand the shift to the global as a disengagement with the real work of politics at home. A manifesto for our cosmopolitan age. (Anne Orford, Australian Professorial Fellow and Director of the Institute for International Law and the Humanities at the University of Melbourne)

This timely and provocative book looks set to be the next Empire in terms of its ambition and scope. ... Contemporary accounts of politics as a global phenomenon miss the reality of 'global politics' as an absence rather than a presence, an absence which allows both Western elites and their radical critics idealistically to project their values into this politically 'empty space'. (Gideon Baker, Griffith University, co-editor (with Jens Bartelson) of The Future of Political Community (2009))

Chandler's intriguing new book will delight all those who always had doubts about-but never dared to question-the constant appeal to think and act 'globally'. By dispelling the sense of obviousness and euphoria ... that we live in a global age governed by global norms, Chandler has redefined the meaning of critique in contemporary international politics and theory. (Volker Heins, Frankfurt University, author of Nongovernmental Organizations in International Society: Struggles over Recognition (2008))

In Hollow Hegemony David Chandler describes the move toward abstract global politics, by both governments and activists alike; a politics which lacks real social connection or instrumental purpose. Effectively debunking the discourse of ‘deterritorialisation’, he argues that politics without a people, a collective subject, is meaningless. (Jonathan Pugh, Newcastle University, editor of What is Radical Politics Today? (2009))

About the Author

David Chandler is Professor of International Relations, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster. He has written widely on democracy, human rights and international relations and is also the author of From Kosovo to Kabul: Human Rights and International Intervention (Pluto Press) and Constructing Global Civil Society: Morality and Power in International Relations (2004), editor of Rethinking Human Rights: Critical Approaches to International Politics (2002) and Peace without Politics: Ten Years of State-Building in Bosnia (2005), and co-editor of Global Civil Society: Contested Futures (2005).

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