The role of great power war in the rise of Hegemons : a study of Dutch Hegemonic ascent in the modern world-system

Siebrits, Andre (2010-03)

Thesis (MA (Political Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores the claim that Great Power Wars are a necessary condition for successful hegemonic ascent in the modern world-system, primarily from the standpoint of World- Systems Analysis. This study advances the conception of hegemony primarily in economic and state terms, and it was investigated, by way of a historical case study, how the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) impacted the economic domains of agro-industrial production, commerce, and finance of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, and its main rival for systemic leadership, Hapsburg Spain. The variables utilised in the study were Great Power War, and the ‘material base’ of the state involved (both independent), the three abovementioned economic domains (intervening), and hegemony or defeat (dependent). The case study was primarily descriptive and explanatory, with the use of process-tracing in its compilation, and a method of within-case structured, focused comparison was utilised with the aim of tentatively producing standardised, generalised knowledge concerning the wider link between Great Power War and hegemony beyond the Dutch case. The findings of the study, although derived from only one historical case of hegemonic ascent in the modern world-system, strongly support the argument that Great Power War is necessary to secure the hegemony of the leading insular core state, which is physically removed from the fighting during the conflict, since the full mobilisation of its economy is effected, while the economies of most other core states are impaired, especially the main continental rival for hegemony. However, the ascending hegemon must also possess the requisite favourable ‘material base’. Further research on this topic is called for, given the potential destructiveness of a future Great Power War, and its role in establishing hegemony in the modern world-system.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die bewering dat Groot Moontheid Oorloë ‘n noodsaaklike vereiste is vir suksesvolle hegemoniese bestyging in die moderne wêreld-sisteem, hoofsaaklik vanaf die standpunt van Wêreld-Sisteem Analise. Hierdie studie bevorder die konsepsie van hegemonie hoofsaaklik in ekonomiese en staat terme, en dit het ondersoek, deur middel van ‘n historiese gevallestudie, hoe die Dertig Jaar Oorlog (1618-1648) ingewerk het op die ekonomiese arenas van agri-industriële produksie, handel, and finansies van die Verenigde Provinsies van Nederland, en hul mededinger vir sistemiese leierskap, Spanje. Die veranderlikes wat in die studie ingespan was, was Groot Moontheid Oorlog, en die ‘materiële basis’ van die state in kwessie (onafhanlik), die drie bogenoemde ekonomiese arenas (albei tussenkomend), en hegemonie of nederlaag (afhanklik). Die gevallestudie was hoofsaaklik beskrywend en verduidelikend, en proses-nasporing (oftewel ‘process-tracing’) is in die samestelling daarvan benut, en ‘n metode van gestruktureerde, gefokusde vergelyking (oftewel ‘structured, focused comparison’) is gebruik binne die gevallestudie met die doel om tentatiewe gestandardiseerde en veralgemeende kennis te genereer wat bydra tot die verduideliking van die wyer skakel tussen Groot Moontheid Oorlog en hegemonie buite die geval van die Verenigde Provinsies. Die bevindinge van die studie, hoewel gegenereer aan die hand van slegs een historiese geval van hegemoniese bestyging in the moderne wêreld-sisteem, het sterk steun verleen aan die argument dat Groot Moontheid Oorloë nodig is om die hegemonie van die vernaamste insulêre kern staat te bewerkstellig, wat fisies verwyderd van die gevegte is tydends die oorlog, aangesien die volle mobilisasie van die ekonomie van hierdie staat bewerkstellig word, terwyl die ekonomieë van die meerderheid van die ander kernstate benadeel word, veral die vernaamste kontinentale mededinger om hegemonie. Die opkomende hegemoon moet egter ook oor die vereiste gunstige ‘materiële basis’ beskik. Verdere navorsing in hierdie veld word benodig, gegewe die waarskynlike vernietiging wat gesaai kan word deur ‘n toekomstige Groot Moontheid Oorlog, en die rol daarvan in die daarstelling van hegemonie in die moderne wêreld-sisteem.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/2787
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