InterJournal Complex Systems, 255
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [255]
Submission Date: 981222
Revised On: 930
The Complex Evolution of International Orders and the Current International Transition
Author(s): Robert Cutler

Subject(s): CX.11, CX.13, CX.14, CX.43, CX.46

Category: Brief Article


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.

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