China and the Logic of Illiberal Hegemony

Darren J. Lim, G. John Ikenberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We develop a theoretical logic and character of a Chinese model of international order. We begin by considering general problems of power transition and hegemonic order-building, with reference to the American experience with liberal hegemony. China will, like all powerful states, seek an order that protects its interests. But unlike its predecessors, China faces an existing order containing elements that threaten its domestic political and economic model. We describe this domestic model and consider how it might be defended at the international level—embedded in the logic and organizational principles of hegemonic order. Our contribution is to theorize the consequences of China’s hegemonic interests, including domestic preservation, and its order-building practices, for the operation and underlying character of a China-led hegemonic order. Though not inherently illiberal in form, we outline how the emergent order could generate illiberal outcomes. This article therefore theorizes the concept of illiberal hegemony.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalSecurity Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'China and the Logic of Illiberal Hegemony'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this