War cycles

Abstract

     By re-analyzing latest conflict data (great power battle fatalities from all wars, Goldstein 1988 and COW/PRIO 2005) from 1495 to 2002 and as yet unpublished UNIDO data about the growth of world industrial production 1740-2004 it is shown that the long Kuznets and Kondratiev swings and cycles of capitalist world development that play such an important role in the analysis of global war since 1495 have indeed not ended after the end of Communism, and that instability, and not stability, characterizes the world economy, and that there is an indented 'W' shaped pattern of global conflict since 1495 that did not end with the end of the Cold War. To this effect, we present in this work new conflict data for the involvement of the Great Powers (from 1945 onwards UN Permanent Security Council members Germany, before 1945 definition Goldstein 1988, based on the works of Levy, see page 235 in Goldstein 1988) in wars (annual battle fatalities) for the entire period 1945-2002, based on standard peace research data (PRIO Oslo, Correlates of War data).World hegemonies that characterize the workings of world capitalism arise and they also end. Work by Attina and Modelski suggests that we most probably will not escape the fatal cycle of global leaderships and global contenders. Since the mid 1960s, the defense pact aggregation index that measures the percentage share of defense pact members in the total number of states in the inter-national system i.e. the control that existing, established mechanisms of world political leadership exercise over global politics, has declined, suggesting that the era of global power by the United States, which was established in 1945, definitely comes to an end and that our era is pretty similar to the era 1850-1878, which was characterized by the de-legitimation of the then British leadership, followed by the de-concentration of the international system and the era of coalition-building between 1878-1914, which ended, as we all too well know, in the catastrophe of 1914.Our hypothesis is - also in view of developments beyond the 1990s - that the belle epoque of globalization from 1960-1990 did not bring about a more stable, egalitarian and peaceful world

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Citations of this work

Economic Cycles, Crises, and the Global Periphery.Leonid Grinin, Arno Tausch & Andrey Korotayev (eds.) - 2016 - Switzerland: Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

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