This critical analysis of long-term trends and recent developments in world systems examines such questions as: Will the cycles of boom and bust, peace and war of the past 500 years continue? Or have either long-term trends or recent changes so profoundly altered the structure of world systems that these cycles will end or take on a less destructive form? The noted international contributors to this volume examine the question of future dominance of the core global systems and include comprehensive discussions of the economic, political and military role of the Pacific Rim, Japan and the former Soviet Union.

Hegemony and Bifurcation Points in World History

Hegemony and bifurcation points in world history

The cycle of hegemony has repeated three times since 1492, giving the world Dutch, British, and now declining US hegemonies. Theoretical models (Chase-Dunn and Rubinson, 1977; Hopkins and Wallerstein, 1979), historical narratives (Kennedy, 1989; Wallerstein, 1974; 1980; 1989), and statistical analyses (Boswell and Sweat, 1991; Modelski and Thompson, 1988) portray the cycle of hegemony as a fixed dynamic inherent in the world-system. Can we expect the future to be any different?

Examination of the rise and fall of hegemons over the last 500 years reveals that each lasts about 100 years. Another 100 year period falls between hegemons, which is characterized by a rough balance among shifting powers and frequent major wars. To understand ...

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