本文檢視在後冷戰時代石油美元機制對美國霸權之影響，並關注美國領導地位在 1991 年波灣、2003 年伊拉克與 2011 年利比亞等戰爭中的角色。在處理國際事務中，美國霸權逐漸採行單邊行動，因而產生合法性危機之質疑。因此自 1990 年以來，美國便宣稱願意承擔昂貴之經濟成本與犧牲其國家之利益，以便與他國建立聯盟共同對抗流氓國家之威脅。美國能以維繫穩定之國際經濟秩序，與贏得反恐作戰之合法性名義發動先制戰爭。為了理解這一看似非理性之行為，根基於 Pierre Bourdieu 關於象徵性資本之概念上，我們提出「炫耀性利他主義」以解釋美國與其盟國採取昂貴成本行動背後的原由。此外，我們更進一步指出傳遞此種「炫耀性利他主義」信息之目的，在於維繫「石油美元」此一能捍衛美元信用的系統。如此，透過作為全球儲備貨幣之美元，美國將能提升其霸權地位。
This paper explores the impact of petrodollar mechanism on the hegemony of the United States in the post-Cold War era. It particularly focuses on the two wars against Iraq respectively in 1991 and in 2003 and the Libyan war in 2011, all under the leadership of the U.S. The U.S. hegemony has been experiencing a legitimacy crisis caused by its increasing tendency towards unilateral actions in international affairs. In order to form alliances among Western nations to confront the rogue states, the U.S. government has demonstrated its willingness to bear economic losses and sacrifice its national interests ever since the 1990s. The United States was engaged in preemptive wars on terrorism to regain its legitimacy of maintaining a stable international economic order. The victories proved to be costly. To analyze such seemingly irrational behaviors, we propose the concept of “conspicuous altruism,” based on Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of symbolic capital, to find the rationale underlying the costly military actions taken by the U.S. and its allies. We further argue that the “conspicuous altruism” signals the U.S. intention to maintain the petrodollar system, which then secures the credibility of the dollars. The U.S. can reaffirm the Dollar’s status as a global reserve currency, thereby enhancing its hegemonic status.
近 400 年來的歐洲，是主權國家平等的「西發里亞體系」，以權力平衡維繫國際秩序;近 600 年以來的東亞，則是中國為天朝而四方小國臣服的「朝貢體系」，是上下層級的國際秩序。為何會有「朝貢體系」?它為何能運作?從現實主義式的觀點來看，「朝貢體系」只是一個包裝過的權力政治，骨子裡仍是物質上的利害與效益計算，中國霸權之下區域國家抵抗無望，不得不臣服。但是，從建構主義式的觀點來看，之所以會有「朝貢體系」的國際秩序，並不只是因為中國的強大，也是因為區域國家認同中國的..
For nearly four centuries, Europe had the so-called Westphalian System of sovereign states, in which balance of power was the basis of international order. In contrast, for nearly six centuries, East Asia had the so-called “tribute system,” a hierarchical order where China was the supreme leader. Why? From a realist perspective, the tribute system was just a wrapper over power politics based on material calculations of interest and benefit: East Asian countries had no choice but submission to China’s hegemon..
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