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Encyclopedia > Power transition theory

The Power transition theory is a theory about the cyclic nature of war, in relation to the power in international relations.[1][2][3] A war is a conflict between two or more groups that involve large numbers of individuals. ... In the context of international relations and diplomacy, power (sometimes clarified as international power, national power, or state power) is the ability of one state to influence or control other states. ...


Created by A.F.K. Organski, and originally published in his textbook, World Politics (1958), power transition theory today describes international politics as a hierarchy, with 4 degrees of power between states. The objective of the theory is to investigate the cyclic condition of wars, and how transition of power in terms of machtpolitik effect the occurrence of these wars. A.F.K. Organski was Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan and a cofounder of Decision Insights, Inc. ... International relations (IR) is an academic and public policy field, a branch of political science, dealing with the foreign policy of states within the international system, including the roles of international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations (MNCs). ... A hierarchy (in Greek: , it is derived from -hieros, sacred, and -arkho, rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things or people, where each element of the system (except for the top element) is subordinate to a single other element. ... Power politics is a state of international relations in which sovereigns protect their own interests by threatening one another with military, economic, or political aggression. ...

Contents

Overview

The principal predictive power of the theory is in the likelihood of war and the stability of alliances.[1] War is most likely, of longest duration, and greatest magnitude, when a challenger to the dominant power enters into approximate parity with the dominant state and is dissatisfied with the existing system. Similarly, alliances are most stable when the parties to the alliance are satisfied with the system structure.[3] This leads to the view that when the balance of power is unstable (ie. one or two nations have taken a dominant role in geopolitics), the likelihood of war is less. According to Organski: Look up Alliance in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

An even distribution of political, economic, and military capabilities between contending groups of states is likely to increase the probability of war; peace is preserved best when there is an imbalance of national capabilities between disadvantaged and advantaged nations; the aggressor will come from a small group of dissatisfied strong countries; and it is the weaker, rather than the stronger; power that is most likely to be the aggressor. [4]

There are further nuances to the theory: for instance, the sources of power transition vary in their volatility, population change being the least volatile and political capacity (defined as the ability of the government to control resources internal to the country) the most volatile.[3]


Hierarchy

AFK Organski organized the world into 4 types of states. The transition of power was to occur between a dominant state and a great power (in most cases), leading to a war. [3][1]

  1. a "dominant" state, the one with the largest proportion of power resources (population, productivity, and political capacity meaning coherence and stability). In modern days such a state is often termed a superpower, or in the case of unipolarity, a hyperpower. Prior to the Cold War, no term was used universally to describe such a power.
  2. "great powers" a collection of potential rivals to the dominant state and who share in the tasks of maintaining the system and controlling the allocation of power resources. Great powers tend to exhibit power projection beyond their region.
  3. "middle powers" of regional significance similar to the dominant state, but unable to challenge the dominant state or the system structure
  4. "small powers" the remainder of nation states which possess little power in their region and have notably insignificant influence and projection outside their region.

An American B-2 bomber in flight. ... I sure hope that my good buddy Kasra is not tripolar, for that, I daresay, would be quite uncool. ... A hyperpower is a state that is vastly stronger than any potential rival. ... The Cold War was the period of protracted conflict and competition between the United States and the Soviet Union and their allies from the late 1940s until the late 1980s. ... A Great power is a nation or state that, through its great economic, political and military strength, is able to exert power over world diplomacy. ... The huge cargo hold and intercontinental flight capabilities of the C-5 Galaxy make it a major asset for deploying military power around the globe. ... Map of middle powers. ...

Historical application

The Royal Prince and other vessels at the Four Days Fight, 11–14 June 1666 by Abraham Storck depicts a battle of the Second Anglo-Dutch War. This period marked the beginning of a significant threat to Dutch hegemony in Europe

The theory leads to the long cycle theory of war and seeks to explain trends between warring states in the past 500 years. The general trend is that a nation achieves hegemonic power and then is challenged by a great power. This leads to a war which, in the past, has created a transition between the two powers. Eugene R. Wittkopf explores past wars and their relation to Power Transition theory in his book World Politics: Trend and Transformation. He explains this using Modelski's Seapower Concentration Index.[2] The Royal Prince and other vessels at the Four Days Fight, 11–14 June 1666 by Abraham Storck The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the... The Royal Prince and other vessels at the Four Days Fight, 11–14 June 1666 by Abraham Storck The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the... June 14 is the 165th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (166th in leap years), with 200 days remaining. ... 1666 is often called Annus Mirabilis. ... The Royal Prince and other vessels at the Four Days Fight, 11–14 June 1666 by Abraham Storck depicts a battle of the Second Anglo-Dutch War. ... Hegemony (pronounced or ) (Greek: ) is the dominance of one group over other groups, with or without the threat of force, to the extent that, for instance, the dominant party can dictate the terms of trade to its advantage; more broadly, cultural perspectives become skewed to favor the dominant group. ... A Great power is a nation or state that, through its great economic, political and military strength, is able to exert power over world diplomacy. ... In telecommunication, a transition is the change from one signal state to another signal state. ...


At 1518, Portugal assumed a hegemonic position in world politics. However, as Spain and the Netherlands (which was experiencing the Dutch Golden Age) rose in power, a series of struggles led to the mass destruction of Portugal's power and a transition to Dutch hegemony. Dutch hegemony was brought into question again in 1688 with the Wars of Louis XIV, which resulted in what is referred to as the "Britain I Cycle", the Napoleonic Wars interrupted this cycle and questioned the hegemony Britain possessed. However, Britain's victory resulted in maintenance of power and the "Britain II Cycle".[2] This cycle ended with the World Wars and Wittkopf shows the period of 1914-1945 as one of particular turbulence in which no power maintained hegemony, even after the Treaty of Versailles.[2] After the second World War, a drastic increase in seapower concentration by the United States was experienced and it (along with the Soviet Union) became the world's first superpowers.[2] Rembrandt The Nightwatch (1642) The Dutch Golden Age (1584-1702) was a period in Dutch history, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world. ... Combatants Allies: Austria[1] Portugal Prussia[1] Russia[2] Spain[3] Sweden United Kingdom[4] French Empire Holland Kingdom of Italy Kingdom of Naples Duchy of Warsaw Bavaria[5] Saxony[6] Commanders Archduke Charles Prince Schwarzenberg Karl Mack Gebhard von Blücher Duke of Brunswick Prince of Hohenlohe Mikhail Kutuzov... The Treaty of Versailles (3010) was the peace treaty which officially ended World War I between the Allied and Central Powers and the German Empire. ... An American B-2 bomber in flight. ...


In general, hegemonic periods last approximately 60 to 90 years and conflicts which result in a period stabilization of power distribution last approximately 20 years.[2] This can be explained through war weariness and the tendency (although this was broken in the first half of the 20th century) for nations not engage themselves in another conflict after being involved in a power transition.[2] (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999...


Modern application

The United Nations Security Council reduces the hegemony of particular powers by allowing minor powers to participate more in the dictation of the world system.
The United Nations Security Council reduces the hegemony of particular powers by allowing minor powers to participate more in the dictation of the world system.

The Post-Cold War period has experienced no major conflicts between two great powers.[2] The United States has maintained a hegemonic role within world politics and is challenged only in the near future by the emerging superpowers China and India. Part of the power transition theory is that an expression of distaste for the current system must be found.[1] It is unlikely that this distaste would be expressed by India, which is ideologically similar to the United States. China, however, as a communist regime, is more likely to create a conflict on the basis of the Power Transition Theory.[citation needed] ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1200x749, 154 KB) UN security council Author: Bernd Untiedt, Germany January 2005 File links The following pages link to this file: United Nations Security Council ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1200x749, 154 KB) UN security council Author: Bernd Untiedt, Germany January 2005 File links The following pages link to this file: United Nations Security Council ... The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is the organ of the United Nations charged with maintaining peace and security among nations. ... A Great power is a nation or state that, through its great economic, political and military strength, is able to exert power over world diplomacy. ... An emerging superpower or potential superpower is a country showing the potential to become a superpower in the foreseeable future. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


In addition to this, the creation of international agreements and resolutions through the United Nations has led to a more stable ideological environment for the hegemonic state and in essence reduces the maximum amount of hegemony a state can achieve.[2] The United Nations Security Council, with the veto capability, are still examples of how great powers are given a higher role in world politics when compared to middle powers and lesser powers. The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, and social equity. ... The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is the organ of the United Nations charged with maintaining peace and security among nations. ... A Great power is a nation or state that, through its great economic, political and military strength, is able to exert power over world diplomacy. ... Map of middle powers. ...


See Also

Power in international relations
Power statuses Middle power | Regional power | Great power | Superpower | Hyperpower
Emerging superpowers China | India | European Union
Future geopolitics African Century | American Century | Asian Century | British Moment | Chinese Century | European Century | Indian Century | Pacific Century
Types of power Soft power | Hard power | Political power | Power (sociology) | Machtpolitik | Realpolitik | Power projection | Polarity in international relations
Other BRIC | BRIMC | BRICS | Energy superpower | Power transition theory | Second superpower | SCO | Superpower collapse | Superpower disengagement
edit | history | purge

In the context of international relations and diplomacy, power (sometimes clarified as international power, national power, or state power) is the ability of one state to influence or control other states. ... Map of middle powers. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A Great power is a nation or state that, through its great economic, political and military strength, is able to exert power over world diplomacy. ... An American B-2 bomber in flight. ... A hyperpower is a state that is vastly stronger than any potential rival. ... Near-Term Emerging Superpowers Currently, the United States of America is regarded as the worlds sole superpower — a term used to describe a country with a significant world-wide influence. ... Geopolitics is the study which analyses geography, history and social science with reference to international politics. ... The African Century is a term that has a variety of meanings. ... ... Asia is the largest continent on Earth with 60% of the human population. ... The British Moment The British Moment is a term, first used by The Henry Jackson Society, to describe the growth of British global influence in recent years. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... The European Century is a term, which was first used by Mark Leonard in his book Perpetual Power: Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century and is used to describe the belief that the 21st century will become a century in which the current European way of doing things will... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Pacific Century is a term that has been used to describe the 21st century through analogy with the term American Century. ... Soft power is a term used in international relations theory to describe the ability of a political body, such as a state, to indirectly influence the behavior or interests of other political bodies through cultural or ideological means. ... Hard power is a concept which is mainly used in realism in international relations and refers to national power which comes from military and economic means. ... Political power (imperium in Latin) is a type of power held by a person or group in a society. ... Much of the recent sociological debate on power revolves around the issue of constraining and/or enabling nature of power. ... Power politics is a state of international relations in which sovereigns protect their own interests by threatening one another with military, economic, or political aggression. ... Realpolitik (German: real (realistic, practical or actual) and Politik (politics)) is a term used to describe politics based on strictly practical rather than idealistic notions, and practiced without any sentimental illusions. // The term was coined by Ludwig August von Rochau, a German writer and politician in the 19th century, following... The huge cargo hold and intercontinental flight capabilities of the C-5 Galaxy make it a major asset for deploying military power around the globe. ... I sure hope that my good buddy Kasra is not tripolar, for that, I daresay, would be quite uncool. ... The four BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China BRIC is a term used to refer to the combination of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... The BRICS. BRICS is a term used to refer to the combination of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. ... // There is as yet no consensus as to what an energy superpower is exactly, or how to define it apart from from other large resource producing states precisely. ... The Second Superpower is a term used to conceptualize a global civil society (including the anti-globalization movement or global justice movement) as a counterpoint to the United States of America. ... Membership 6 member states 4 observer states Headquarters Secretariat RATS - Beijing - Tashkent Working languages Chinese, Russian Secretary General Zhang Deguang Formation 14 June 2001 Official website http://www. ... Superpower collapse, that is, the political collapse of a superpower nation-state, is a term used to describe the actual political collapse of the Soviet Union, and by extension, the theoretical collapse of the other recognized superpower, the United States. ... Superpower Disengagement refers to the German reunification plan proposed by Stalin in 1952. ...

References

  1. ^ a b c d Organski, AFK (1958). World Politics.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Wittkopf, Eugene R. (1997). World Politics: Trend and Transformation. New York: St. Martin's Press.
  3. ^ a b c d Tammen, Ronald L. (2000). Power Transitions: Strategies for the 21st Century. Seven Bridges Press.
  4. ^ Organski 1980, 19

  Results from FactBites:
 
Power Transition Theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (670 words)
These dominant powers, or hegemons, commonly arise and use their power to create a set of political and economic structures and norms of behaviour that enhance the stability of the system at the same time that they advance their own security.
Thus, power transition theory's war hypothesis is that wars among great powers are most likely when a power transition occurs between the dominant state and the dissatisfied challenger.
Contrary to the traditional “Balance of power theory”, with its power parity hypothesis, which claim that an equality in power is conductive to peace, “Power transition theory” reach the opposite conclusion claiming the probability of war between the rising challenger and the dominant state peaks near the point of power transition between them.
Phase transition - definition of Phase transition in Encyclopedia (1934 words)
The distinguishing characteristic of a phase transition is an abrupt sudden change in one or more physical properties, in particular the heat capacity, with a small change in a thermodynamic variable such as the temperature.
The Ehrenfest scheme is an inaccurate method of classifying phase transitions, for it is based on the mean field theory of phases (to be described in a later section.) Mean field theory is inaccurate in the vicinity of phase transitions, as it neglects the role of thermodynamic fluctuations.
Universality is a prediction of the renormalization group theory of phase transitions, which states that the thermodynamic properties of a system near a phase transition depend only on a small number of features, such as dimensionality and symmetry, and is insensitive to the underlying microscopic properties of the system.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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