In the most general sense, one who possesses "Hegemony" holds a position of power or leadership.

In the debate-sense, the lingo "hegemony" most commonly refers the United States’ military or political might in the eyes of the global community – although many debate arguments have been introduced about the hegemony of other nations (i.e. "Indian Hegemony on the South Asia sub-continent" or "Chinese hegemonic aspirations").

Hegemony is a very common impact argument – many affirmative advantages and negative disadvantages introduce a series of internal links in an effort to introduce a hegemony impact. The most common hegemony impact is written by Zalmay Khalilzad and can be found via the Open Source Project (insert link when appropriate).

  • Zalmay Khalilzad, RAND, The Washington Quarterly, Spring 1995
  • Under the third option, the United States would seek to retain global leadership and to preclude the rise of a global rival or a return to multipolarity for the indefinite future. On balance, this is the best long-term guiding principle and vision. Such a vision is desirable not as an end in itself, but because a world in which the United States exercises leadership would have tremendous advantages. First, the global environment would be more open and more receptive to American values -- democracy, free markets, and the rule of law. Second, such a world would have a better chance of dealing cooperatively with the world's major problems, such as nuclear proliferation, threats of regional hegemony by renegade states, and low-level conflicts. Finally, U.S. leadership would help preclude the rise of another hostile global rival, enabling the United States and the world to avoid another global cold or hot war and all the attendant dangers, including a global nuclear exchange. U.S. leadership would therefore be more conducive to global stability than a bipolar or a multipolar balance of power system.

Hegemony is a bi-directional impact – debaters frequently argue that US Hegemony is good or bad.

Reasons why US Hegemony may be bad


Reasons why US Hegemony may be good


Important concepts to understand when debating hegemony

  • Counter-balancing
  • Inevitability arguments