Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

GRAD WORKSHOP - Contestation and Control: Making Sense of Hegemonic Shifts

Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Online Event: Zoom link and links to papers sent to registrants.
Please register here.

Authoritarian World Orders: How China's Persuasive Use of Ideology Shapes Order in Cyberspace

Rachel Hulvey (Penn Political Science)

HOW DOES INTERNATIONAL ORDER DEVELOP in emerging frontiers of world politics? In the face of rising threats of cyber-attacks and ransomware, governments widely agree that multilateral collaboration is necessary, but contest the details of how to develop a rules-based order for cyberspace. Surprisingly, it is authoritarian states calling for the development of binding legal instruments and advocating for the increased delegation of authority in cyberspace to the United Nations and International Telecommunications Union, when we would expect these countries to operate in a zone of politics outside the law. RACHEL ANN HULVEY explains this surprising outcome through China’s persuasive use of ideology. By framing the benefits of international law in terms that all states treasure – sovereignty and security – China has convinced the group of states most resistant to stringent rules to support the centralization of order in cyberspace. As China elevates the rights and obligations of governments, preferences for international law become associated with ideology and regime type. Using statements and submissions from three prominent negotiations about international law for cybersecurity and cybercrime, Hulvey provides a glimpse of what an authoritarian world order looks like in practice, as China uses persuasion to mobilize an ideological coalition of authoritarian states. These findings hold promise for understanding China’s rise, its strategies for mobilizing support for a new world order, and the ways that new rules of the game, distinct from those of the liberal world order, are emerging.

Networked Hegemonic Shocks: A Hegemonic Transition and Post-Cold War Democratization

Woojeong Jang (Georgetown Dept. of International Relations)

THE RISE AND FALL OF GREAT POWERS PRODUCE A WAVE of regime changes. Why do some states take part in the wave but others do not? During the post-Cold War wave of democratization, for instance, why did some states become more democratic than others? Bridging hegemony studies and relational-network analysis, WOOJEONG JANG argues that the configuration of a state’s geopolitical ties determines its regime trajectory after a great power transition. States positioned between competing international orders, who occupy a brokerage position, are more likely to undergo regime change after a global power transition. However, remnants of a collapsing order do not go away; states deeply integrated in a collapsing order tend to resist regime changes. A combined contour of states’ position in new and old orders, as a function of brokerage and integration, conditions political developments after a hegemonic transition. Using a new dataset on former Soviet republics, Jangtests the effects of brokerage to the US-led order and integration in the Soviet system on post-Cold War democratization. Empirical analysis using parameterization, inferential statistics, and Bayesian updating finds evidence in support of the hypothesis. She provides additional qualitative evidence through a comparative study of Ukraine and Georgia. The finding illuminates how underlying global power structures frame domestic political contentions and bears on the debate concerning the wave of democratization as well as anti-democratic backsliding.