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Hegemonic Field Effects in World Politics: The United States and the Schuman Plan of 1950


This paper casts American influence over the Schuman Plan of May 1950 as a hegemonic field effect, pushing forward recent attempts to develop more dynamic models of hegemonic ordering in world politics. Far from an automatic enactment of US preferences for European unification by French policy-makers, as prevailing macro-level theories imply, the Schuman Plan-French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman's proposal to pool French and German coal and steel-was the product of a "structural homology"that developed between the French and American political fields after 1945. American officials in Paris, empowered by their control of Marshall Aid, fostered an alignment of the French and American political fields, empowering centrist coalitions and technocratic planners in France, who favored pro-capitalist, pro-European integration policies, of which the Schuman Plan was a signature artifact. The paper explores the implications of this historical case for the further development of relational meso-level theories of hegemony.

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