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Geopolitical World Orders

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posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 04:04 PM
Many political geographers believe that Kondratiev waves and hegemonic cycles run together. Kondratiev waves were theorized by Russian economist Nikolai Kondratiev. The theory is composed of economic cycles that last approximately 60 years where the economy goes through a boom period followed by a recession period and then on to a boom period and so forth.

Hegemonic cycles are cycles where a hegemony gains hegemonic status, has a hegemonic victory, goes through hegemonic maturity, and finally becomes a declining hegemony.

There are also geopolitical world orders that go along with these Kondratiev waves and hegemonic cycles. During the British Hegemonic Cycle you had the World Order of Hegemony and Concert (1815-1870 during the British Hegemonic victory and maturity), which saw a balance of power in Europe which left Britain with a free hand to dominate the rest of the world. There was also the World Order of Rivalry and Concert (1870-1890, during the British Hegemonic decline), which saw Germany dominate Europe, but Britain still the greatest world power.

The next hegemonic cycle would be the American Hegemonic Cycle. First was the World Order of the British Succession (1890 – 1945, American ascension and victory to hegemony status), which saw Germany and the USA overtake Britain as world powers, and two world wars to settle the succession. The last world order was the Cold War World Order (1945-1989, American hegemonic maturity and decline), saw the USA hegemony challenged by the ideological alternative offered by the USSR.

So according to this theory we are in between the Cold War World Order and a new world order. Apparently, the last economic slump has not ended yet so do we have to wait for the next economic boom to begin before we see who the next hegemony is? I would like to know what you think about this theory and who you see as the next hegemony and any possible new world orders.

Taylor, Peter J., 1993: “Geopolitical world orders” Ch. 1 in: Peter J. Taylor (ed) Political Geography of the Twentieth Century: a Global Analysis[i/] London: Belhaven Press, pp. 33-61

posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 12:02 PM

I would definitely nominate China as a possible future Hegemony.

The thing with the US is it came into power during a great moment in history where you saw many technological advancements make a global economy more feasible. Another advantage the United States has is it's geography. We have East Asia on one side of us and Europe on the other. Much of our country's land is useable. As a whole we have a fairly moderate climate. Basically we have in my opinion the best chunk of property on earth.

posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 01:14 PM

Originally posted by slink
Apparently, the last economic slump has not ended yet so do we have to wait for the next economic boom to begin before we see who the next hegemony is?

But the hegemonies aren't started by booms no? Also, when was the last boom? During the clinton years? Why didn't it last for 60 odd years? Why are we in a 'bust' right now, rather than an overall boom? Unemployment is low, the economy is growing, and the biggest down ticks of the decade were probably a result of the WTC attacks, not a natural economic event, no?

I would like to know what you think about this theory

Not being all that familiar with the direct text, but trusting that your explanation is essentially accurate, I'd be wary of extracting global trends and processes from, what, 200, 300 years of data? I mean, this idea seems to simply be saying that what happened to the british is going to happen, in the same series of events, to the US.
Thats a bold statement, given that the British Empire and its rise was completely different from the situation with a US Hegemony.
Also, the british came to ascendancy when there were, effectively, a much smaller number of 'nation-states' in existence, and also at a time when the international order was basically dictated by europeans, who, at the time, agreed that nation-states would be the principle 'actors' in the international world, that these states were 'sovereign' so long as they could defend themselves militarily, and that these 'sovereign actors' agreed to essentially leave one another to their own devices.
The situation today is extremely different. NGO groups are growing incredibly in influence, and the basis of international politics today is embodied by the UN, superseding nation-states, working torwards global goals (ie, eradication of smallpox, fighting world hunger, aids initiatives, supporting democracies and independence for ethnic minorities within their enclaves).
Also, when the british were at their height, they were the most powerful, but they were hardly unstopable. A tiny population, from an island off the north coast of europe, was policing and maintaining an empire that possesed a full Quarter of the Globe. But states like France, with a small global empire, or spain, with a spent one, or even Germany, which didn't have a real global empire, could effectively threaten the security of britain, in very serious ways.

No one can do that to the USA. There is no possibility of, say, Iran invading America, or of, as an extreme hypothetical, Bin Ladin as Caliph of all the middle east being able to raise an army to do so. And certainly china or Russia aren't going to bother invading the US, if nothing else for the same reason that the soviets never did, M.A.D.

and who you see as the next hegemony and any possible new world orders.

None. The only way to usurp the US hegemony is if the US decides that it doesn't want to be Hegemon anymore. And thats immpossible. IF, say, extreme leftists come to power in the US, they wouldn't make the US an isolationist country, they'd use it to police the world, just like the neo-conservatives do today. The general public, at the same time that its decrying the Iraq war, is demanding intervention in the Darfur, and elsewhere.

The only way another Hegemon can come into play is if, say, the US ecomony actually collapses, and stays collapsed, and the US can't even afford to keep up its military, or to use it in an active way, and some other country benefits, like India or China, from the global free market. Normally, the US would take steps to sabotague and prevent someone else from advancing beyond it in terms of economy, but if the US ecomony was crippled and it was unable to realistically threaten military action as a last resort, then you might have another Hegemon come into play.

But, of course, if it were India, it'd be conflicting with China, and vice versa.

As a whole we have a fairly moderate climate. Basically we have in my opinion the best chunk of property on earth.

There are a lot of other countries that have good land to use, along with a large population, lots of resources, and the basics of a decent economy. Brazil, for example. And the ever present India, with its 1 billion people. The US advanced because it had such a huge population, thats a big economy on its own. So any future global Hegemon would almost certainly come out of the countries with truly huge populations, like India. China's biggest problem is that the land isn't as useful, and they have a strong history of being isolationists. I can't see, for example, china sending troops to west africa to protect their oil interests.

A seperate possibility is that its not a nation-state that becomes the next hegemon. SInce no one can seriously threaten the US's position, and the US isn't going to go completely isolationist, perhaps the next world order system will involve states like the US and EU, etc, giving up their national interests in favour of larger shared global interests. Then we might start seeing a bloc of 'progressive internationalist' countries dominating the UN Sec. Council and General Assembly, or even completely surpassing the UN and teaming up with NGOs and the like to direct world events.

[edit on 27-10-2006 by Nygdan]

posted on Sep, 13 2008 @ 05:10 AM
It's true that America possesses a vast stretch of land with a temperate climate but this once favourable position is being threatened by the ever increasing number of Hurricanes. Hurricane Katrina cost America aroun a 110 billion dollars which might not be much proportionally but considering the current collapse of the American economy it will surely bring down its downfall as a hegemonic power.

The next question is Where are we going considering America's loss of hegemony? I am trying to find the answer from Galtung's alternative geopolitical scenarios. Galtung presents 4 possible alternative. So which one of these will the world take. Are these possibilities an alternative direction from those directions envisaged by Modelski and Kondratieff.

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