In This Review

In the Hegemon’s Shadow: Leading States and the Rise of Regional Powers
In the Hegemon’s Shadow: Leading States and the Rise of Regional Powers
By Evan Braden Montgomery
Cornell University Press, 2016, 216 pp

In this thoughtful study, Montgomery seeks to understand the logic that leads hegemons to variously support, accommodate, and oppose upstart states on their periphery. All global powers want access to and influence in every region, and the rise of hostile states that seek to close off and dominate their neighborhoods jeopardizes that goal. Montgomery argues that a hegemon will support a rising regional state if that country’s growing power counterbalances another state in the region that is hostile to the hegemon or if the rising state might become a regional leader that supports the global hegemon. By the same token, if the rising power is hostile or threatens to disturb the regional balance, hegemonic opposition will follow. For evidence, Montgomery turns to detailed historical cases of British efforts to manage the rise of three regional powers during the nineteenth century: Egypt, the American Confederacy, and Japan. Montgomery also looks at the U.S. response to the rise of India amid power struggles in South Asia in the 1960s and to the threat that Iraq posed to the regional order in the Persian Gulf during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.