The Complex Evolution of International Orders and the Current International Transition
The history of modern international
relations is composed of a succession of international orders. Each
international order comprises a succession of international systems. Three
orders are distinguished since 1648. Two regularities are observed: the
length of an international transition is about one-quarter the length of
the international system it succeeds, and the last system of each order is
split into two "moments" by an interim mini-transition about one-quarter
the length of the first moment. Of those two moments, the second contains
the seeds of the normative essence of the succeeding international order.
Categorical reasoning about the historical record since 1648, using such
structural concepts as unipolarity, bipolarity, and multipolarity, allows
the most likely evolution of the international system to be systematically
deduced. A new period of system transformation is projected to begin in the
early 2040s and last about 10 years. Its likely principal actors and their
relations are discussed. This peer-refereed journal article, also reprinted
in an edited volume, is available in full text.
Suggested citation for this webpage:
Robert M. Cutler, "The Complex Evolution of International Orders and the Current International Transition[: Abstract]," available at <http://www.robertcutler.org/ar00ijhd.htm>, accessed 22 July 2017.
Dr. Robert M. Cutler [ website — email ] was educated at MIT and The University of Michigan, where he earned a Ph.D. in Political Science, and has specialized and consulted in the international affairs of Europe, Russia, and Eurasia since the late 1970s. He has held research and teaching positions at major universities in the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, and Russia, and contributed to leading policy reviews and academic journals as well as the print and electronic mass media in three languages.
Text: Copyright © Robert M. Cutler
First Web-published: 22 December 1998
Content last modified: 29 September 2000
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