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The Long and the Short of Global Politics in the Twenty-First Century: An Evolutionary Approach

George Modelski and William R. Thompson
International Studies Review
Vol. 1, No. 2, Prospects for International Relations: Conjectures about the Next Millennium (Summer, 1999), pp. 109-140
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The International Studies Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3186382
Page Count: 32
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The Long and the Short of Global Politics in the Twenty-First Century: An Evolutionary Approach
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Abstract

Forecasting the future of world politics requires both some acquaintance with possible alternatives, and a definite theoretical foundation. We first consider five other sets of arguments (associated with Waltz, Huntington, Kennedy, Fukuyama, and Wallerstein), and use them, collectively and individually, as contrasts with our own positions. Based on an evolutionary perspective that emphasizes the mechanisms of variation, selection, cooperation, and amplification, a model of global politics in the past millennium is employed for making a projection of institutional developments into the twenty-first century. These changes are expected to coevolve with developments in the world economy, democratization, and public opinion. Over the next two to three phases of global politics, the possibilities for expanded global organization evolving around a United States-European Union nucleus are considerable but yet tempered by some likelihood of the repetition, in the coming century, of earlier patterns of intensive global conflict over leadership selection.

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