Foreign Policy Strategies for Declining Hegemony: Searching for the Balance between Costs and Involvement
Keywords: declining hegemon, foreign policy strategies, hegemon, hegemonic system, isolationism, multilateralism, unipolar system.
AbstractThe article explores and analyzes the foreign policy strategies of a declining hegemon. For this purpose, it develops an analytical framework for the classification of the strategies based on the two variables, costs and involvement. While amount of costs required to be spent in order to attain the goals of a certain strategy aﬀects a hegemon’s power, and involvement represents the hegemon’s ability to achieve desired outcomes though participation in international relations, the variables empirically express the two attributes of a hegemon as defined in the theories of international relations - power and willingness to be a hegemon. Therefore, beyond classification of strategies, the analy- tical framework illustrates how implementation of each strategy aﬀects the attributes of a hegemon. Based on the framework, the article defines the most optimal foreign policy of a declining hegemon by discovering the one that minimally aﬀects the attributes of a hegemon by enabling it to preserve high involvement in relatively lower costs.