The Evolution of Global Politics


  • George Moldeski University of Washington



The rise and decline of world powers has attracted much scholarly attention in recent years. The theory of long cycles answers parsimoniously the question: why, in the past half millenium, have Portugal, the Dutch Republic, Britain (twice), and the United States risen to global leadership while others have failed to do so? This accounts for the success, or failure, of individual states, but to explain the entire sequence we need to employ an evolutionary paradigm that proposes that each of these long cycles is one mechanism in a spectrum of global evolutionary processes. The leadership succession is an intermediate stage in the evolution og global politics, whose next likely major phase, reaching a high point later in the 21st century, will be the gradual absorption of the informal role of global leadership, when embedded in a democratic community, into a network of more formal positions within an emerging global organization of a federalist character. The conditions of that process can now be specified.




How to Cite

Moldeski, G. (1995). The Evolution of Global Politics. Journal of World-Systems Research, 1(1), 348–391.



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